Before


It wasn’t really that long ago, that vaguely remembered time that we call “before.” Before the pandemic, before Brexit; before – when we still had a queen. Where has that time gone? How have we arrived to this place we refer to a now, when the Pound is at an all time low, and politicians are rewarding millionaires for the accomplishment with tax cuts that are equivalent to the annual wages of two nurses. Don’t forget this is all in the name of “growth.” If this is growth, I would rather descend back to my “smaller” self, the one I was before.


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Alley

Photo credit Sarah Whiley

When at night being followed

By thugs at your back

Head for this alley, where the comic book heroes attack

Batman and Spidey, Punisher and Daredevil too

Might be lurking above, just for you

No need to feel guilty for what ensues in this place

Just walk on calmly and continue forward to face

What happens to villains, is all down to them

It will teach them a lesson, till their ways they amend


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Your Inner Compass

Still waters run deep,

So it is said

Your thoughts are your own,

Deep inside your head

Others cannot know

If your words match your point of view

For your outward expressions

May not be true

It is here that integrity becomes a thing

For honest conversation reward does bring

For while others you may think you fool

It diminishes the soul

Which self-destructive and ultimately cruel


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Foundations of Love

Love is always seeking the best

Not for yourself, but for all the rest

It is kind and patient, willing to forgive

Always prepared second chances to give

It flows from a spirit that is with God in touch

Remembering that He loved and forgave us so much

Love is in the end not about what we can get

But more about giving to all we’ve met


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Pastor Vince gave an inspiring yet challenging message drawn from Romans 13 and I Corinthians 13 which serve as the theme of this post.

Touching Base

Pixabay

We had hoped to meet up for lunch, but with work schedules and such not, that didn’t really work.  Dinner was equally problematic as we both had families.   After dinner we would have kids to tuck in, and then it wasn’t viable to go out afterwards.   So here we sat at seven in the morning on the rail platform touching base and slurping a Starbuck’s before going our separate ways.  So much for “best friends forever.”  What can I say? Life happens.


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As Quiet Grows

As night descends and the sun goes down

And quiet grows around the town

The din of traffic continues to decrease

And domestic sounds are all that interrupt the peace

The air cools and moods chill too

And you finish off the last things to do

Then in that stillness you can begin your rest

It is in those hours that I’m at my best


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Resilient

Able to cope with all that comes

Recovering quickly from what may beset

I’m not sure if snowflakes do

For where they were – is just something wet

Have we somewhere lost our way

When dealing with life’s day to day?


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The Waysiders

As you go about your day-to-day life with the rush to work, or to the market, do you pay much attention to those you pass by on the way? We must cross paths with thousands of people in our lives, maybe ten or hundreds of thousands. But do we see them, really see them?

Jesus in His travels passed by people, but we are given the accounts how three (that I am looking at here) individuals which were both figuratively and actually at the side of life were brought into focus by Him.

In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus is called from His journey by the pleas of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar. He called for Jesus’ help. While there were those who tried to silence him, Jesus calls the man to Him. The healing of Bartimaeus’ blindness was quite public, but that isn’t the issue. Jesus had time for the man. Do we hear the pleas of those calling for our help? Do we take the time to respond?

Luke 19:1-10 relates Jesus’ encounter with a tax collector named Zacchaeus. This man was a social outcast (a waysider) because of his service to the Roman authorities. He was also, we are told, a short man. We can reasonably infer that he was literally easy to overlook especially in a crowd. This man however wanted to have a look at Jesus. No calling out like in Bartimaeus’ case, but a discrete climb into a nearby tree to get a look. It was from that position that he heard Jesus’ call: “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.” He was not only noticed, but interacted with in a surprising way. The social outcast was called to the social interaction of a meal. Do we engage with those others have moved to the wayside? Jesus did.

In Matthew 9:20–22, Jesus is moving through the crowds, when a woman with a medical condition reaches out to touch the edge of His clothing. He stops and asks who had touched Him. His disciples see this as a strange question as they are in a crowd and many people would have bumped or touched Him. But he notes that there was more to the encounter, for power went out from Him. The woman confesses to being the one, and that she was embarrassed to address Him directly with her need. He affirms her faith, and tells her she is healed. He doesn’t scold her for bringing her “uncleanness” to Him, or for touching Him. He accepts her at the level she initiates. Do we?

There are many other places where outcasts and misfits are engaged by Jesus. What these waysiders offer is a challenge to keep our eyes open for those who may be overlooked by us. We too were once waysiders, but we were seen and called.


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