Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Thank You Card...

I'm working up some ideas in James 2:1-17 for next week, and find myself looking at the strength of 'love your neighbour as yourself'.

There's a bright pink card on the desk addressed to everyone at The Salvation Army. It simply says thank you on the outside, on the inside more profoundly it says 'I'd been lost without your help and support'. Half an hour ago a friendly face popped his head around the office door. 'Just checking you got the card...'

He explains what it was to be homeless in Sutton and what it was to be loved by SuttonSA. He explains that at his loneliest and most vulnerable the doors were open with a smile, support and interest. He explains how life is on the up and that he now has hope. He leaves saying he'll be back in on Monday to say hello!

In my experience a thank you card in these circumstances is rare. I watch him cross the road and walk towards the town, grateful for the interruption.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The power of choice...!

I came across this quote and used it on Sunday... "The original selves  which we were born with, and which I believe we continue in some measure to be no matter what, are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose."       Buechner F. (1991) Telling Secrets. Harper and Row 44-45

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unspectacular true love for others...

I'm finding the words of Nouwen helpful that are coming through the daily email you can sign up to. Really insightful thoughts about ordinariness, hiddenness, intimacy and true love for others.

"Jesus' hidden life is very important in our own spiritual journeys. If we want to follow Jesus words and deeds in the service of His kingdom we must first of all strive to follow Jesus in his simple, unspectacular, and very ordinary hidden life...

...It is in hiddenness that we can find a true intimacy with God and a true love for people.
Even during his active ministry, Jesus continued to return to hidden places to be alone with God. If we don't have a hidden life with God, our public life for God cannot bear fruit...."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Supporting a tree into full treeness...!

Outside the class room that we taught Spiritual Formation for six years a tree was planted and I was struck by the obvious and the irony.

The conditions for growth maintained and nurtured for a young tree that will continue in growth as its roots go deep. The stage of growth requires careful staking out, to support when it would be buffeted by wind and rain, ironically strengthening the roots and its treeness!

Perhaps the least obvious is the most important, the rubber binding that allows for some give in the strongest of winds. The temptation would be be to go with something a little more rigid and seemingly strong, the comfort perhaps of a plastic tie.
But that rigidness would just cut, choke and deform the beauty of potential.

Friday, August 10, 2012