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Tag Archives: love

reaching out to beckon to my wife
to join me for an embrace as I lay on my bed
my crippled hands wrapped around her willing body
and the searing pain sent shockwaves through my body
I lay there saying nothing
savouring the moment
forever grateful
knowing that there are so many
who would give anything just to have arms
to embrace those they loved and cherished


ugly lies

we can’t trust beauty anymore
we’ve been lied to
and we’ve liked it
we’ve loved it
and it’s become beautiful
we couldn’t see its ugliness anymore
and we hated ugliness
so we turned our back on beauty
and now we lie
even when we speak the truth



“Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss

… imagine if on birthdays we sung these lyrics over our loved ones as opposed to the regular “you look like a monkey, and you act like one too…”

… imagine if we spoke about this every day

… imagine if this was the unseen quest at every meal…

… imagine if we meant it


… maybe there would be no need for politics? …

nor even nations …

nor war …

nor religion …

nor capitalism or communism …

or any other “ism”





it is almost impossible to get a person to hate and murder another if that person has no experience of being hated nor any real understanding of or reason to hate and murder another…

the same can be said of love and life…


like a glove

can be worn tight or loose

the embrace of a dear heart

or the tug of a noose


love is dreaming and wishing

running and fishing

chasing and being caught

maybe even being bought


there’s mystery and wonder

promises made

there’s hope being invested

deposits being paid


grabbing and loosing

and chasing what’s nice

bending on knees

paying the price


there’s ego and tingling

and sacrificial giving

chemicals cascading

goose bumps parading


there’s romance and passion

sensational feelings

surrender and fear

and logic that’s reeling


but, on the other hand

to balance all the saying

maybe love is dancing together

even when there’s no music playing



so, how does it feel?

maybe the only real path ahead is a drive back to real community?

real relationships, real interaction, real honour, respect, really extending dignity to others – especially strangers, the strange, the cast-outs, the rejected, those who are simply different to us.
maybe the greatest command really is to love one another? … and maybe it starts with you and me .. one on one … one at a time?

can we see that we are living lives of alienation and that we are effectively herded into smaller and smaller compartments?

can we begin to entertain the possibility that we are effectively being conned (by everything around us and even ourselves) into believing we are each specialists and even now led to believe that we are connected intimately through technology and our sophisticated political and social post-modern environments?

maybe we’ve been herded into pseudo communities of all forms; political, religious, social, churches, economic sectors, mosques, synagogues, causes, temples, ‘secret’ societies, sports clubs, environmental action groups,  … whatever?

maybe we have begun to believe that these bring us together and keep us together – perhaps they are what’s keeping us apart?

maybe we’ve begun to even lie to ourselves?

what about it?

could we begin to conceive of authentic community again?

Lazarus – a metaphor?


thinking:  Ishmael

the brother of the promise …


Hagar wept


I simply can’t get it out of my mind …


“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.

They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd”


he was the background brother of those two women whom Jesus loved


who loved him

from different sides

in different ways


who both ‘waited’ on him


one in love and grace, the other in law and servitude


two distinct covenants represented?


or three?


and then there were the masses

and the professional mourners

and the devastated believers


Jesus wept


and what if Ishmael were to be raised?


the outcast

cast in …. again


the masses mocked and scorned

as did the religious rulers

… they even tried to kill Lazarus

… because he drew too much attention to the Christ

to the unmerited grace of the Christ

the overwhelming kindness of God

would we rejoice?


or would we mock?

I am a father and I know a lot of fathers just like me. Sadly some of us are somewhat socially inappropriate – as men and as fathers. Many are hard business men, aggressive negotiators, strong deal makers, blunt communicators, many even unable to interact with our own peers in an appropriately civil manner.
Nevertheless I am constantly amazed at how these hardened men can often so easily and so naturally be softened and drawn into the humble, lowly realm of the infant child – even to the extent of often willingly engaging with them in the usual “gah-gah, goo-goo” babbling language of the child even delighting in their infantile world view however irrational or even “incorrect.”
Now we view God as our father. Heavenly father yes, but even by God’s own initiative and admission he is declared as our father.
So why doesn’t God speak to us in baby talk?
Or does he?

One of the things that impacts me greatly when I read the gospel accounts is the way Jesus dialogued with those around him.  I use the word dialogue specifically here in contrast to the word monologue which is almost exclusively what we see and hear in our present religious settings.

What I see is that  Jesus asked a lot of questions and engaged intimately and personally with people in many different ways that suggests to me that he was more than just interested in their individual world view but that he even respected it and asked them for clarity on their way of seeing things.

In the gospel of John he goes into quite some detail about the intent of God in his being there and what this was really all about.  In it all there is rich evidence of what I see as God’s desire to engage with us as friends and not as slaves or even servants.  To my mind there is far less emphasis on a heavy, top-down relationship where mankind needs to cower and tip-toe around an angry, hostile, difficult to please master.   Instead I see a completely different picture, that of a great creator of all things, a supreme intelligence, wanting to enter in and explore a mutual relationship that is based on dialogue, friendship, agreement, even open and flexible negotiation.

What also stands out for me is that this was not as a result of any request on our side, prayerful or other.  As far as I can make out there is no record of anyone asking God to make it easier or to relax with all the heavy commandments and tough expectations.  Sure, some prophets lamented quite passionately from time to time but not a lot is recorded as saying, “Hey God, what’s your problem?” “Give us a break will you?”  … “What’s with all these impossible demands?”  “Cut us some slack here – we’re only human after all!”  Instead it appears overwhelmingly so that God’s kindness and open handed acceptance is an entirely unprovoked initiative from God himself.   In fact, even to this day there is more evidence to point to the fact that we still expect a bolt of burning sulphur like anger to descend on our heads at any moment … and this is what we tend to preach.  Yet this kindness, acceptance, unmerited embracing, … it’s all God’s idea.  Even salvation itself is penned as being for God’s sake, not exclusively ours.

Doesn’t that surprise you?  It totally caught the religious intelligentsia in Jesus’ day with their pants down and even with our sense of present time revelation and the ‘new testament’ of unmerited grace and forgiveness I think it still catches us as well.  I see this strange initiative of God as pointing quite convincingly to a desired relationship based on mutual respect and trust and as I said, this comes from God and not us.  For me this is amazing.  Talk about signs and wonders … this is BOTH!

And I don’t see God making a brazen demand for total conformity to a stronger, exacting, legalistically demanding, higher conduct but almost directly the opposite.   To me it presents a picture of the almighty creator descending down to what is obviously a lower order of life specifically to engage and not even exclusively on what is a higher demanding standard, but almost a mutual interaction, a dialogue not a monologue.   For me it’s sort of like, “Listen guys,  we got a huge problem here, sure, but I have a solution … and here’s what I have done about it …”   And if any changes are needing to be made it is God himself who makes it happen before we even know we could or should ask for it.

Equally strangely to me is that we seem to demand these ‘changes’ of ourselves and especially of others, it’s not God who makes these demands.  I mean, the offer was made to us before we even knew we were in need and we were accepted while still unimaginably smelly so why after being accepted with such open handed embrace would there need to be changes made in order to be more accepted?  Yet we expect people to conform to this kind of  stuff.  In fact we demand it.  Stuff like – don’t do this, stop doing that, start doing that, start doing the other thing, think this way and not that way, etc.   It looks to me like this solution we’ve been presented with in scripture is clearly a call for intimacy of a kind that is even in this so-called ‘enlightened’ day strikingly unusual.

“Terms and conditions apply!” – I hear this everyday in the media, but I struggle to see it in the sacred texts.  Yet it is heard from the pulpit all the time and is transferred through social censure and religious internal politics.  In fact, the way it reads to me is that if there are any terms and conditions they are met before we even know they are needing to be met.  As a consequence it really impacts me severely just seeing and experiencing the hierarchical and formal nature of even the most so called ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ of modern church systems.

The way I understand it the offer is to all, even the most anti-whatever, including the worst of the worst.   People who are so off, and I mean OFF! … WAY off – are freely accepted – totally embraced by this crazy, extravagant, generous, open hearted, open handed God.  But with us, if someone has even a slightly different idea on what or who God is or even a slightly different way they do something, they are cut off and rejected, even publicly insulted and humiliated, muscled out to the peripheral courts of the untouchable heathens – those blemishes in the community, the black sheep of the flock.
I cannot help but conclude for myself that this could very easily suggest that we have possibly not ever really understood anything of the intent and practical outworking of Jesus’ words on the matter even though we brandish about the term “The Father’s Heart” with great abandon.

I wonder what might happen if the penny dropped one day?

some hoped, some expected, some feared, some jeered … but so far it looks like it will all pass over uneventfully … except for the residue of the experience which will very possibly last a lot longer than the memory of the event in our lives – if only subconsciously perhaps.

on sunday morning many who in the secret place of hope and fear in their hearts who believed it would all end, or even hoped it were the truth, will most probably agree with those who scoff saying that they knew all along that it was not true … but inside?

a lot of what we believe is determined not by faith but by the apparent facts that seem to manifest around us and are either ratified or denied by the other mortals we associate with.  perhaps we may choose to deny it but to my mind it’s a very social gospel we live by – one that is rooted so much more in the natural than the spiritual or eternal.

me, i think i’m with those whose hopes were dashed

perhaps a fair amount of those who secretly hoped the world would end are those who really qualify – and perhaps by default – for a true spiritual faith?  perhaps they hoped not because of a theology or intelligence this way or that but because they are suffering in some way or another? – financially, emotionally, physically?  perhaps they are extremely lonely even in the crowd and the laughter?  perhaps just the thought of being taken out of here is such an attraction?  perhaps they truly feel like aliens in this harsh and cruel world?  they might not be able to admit it publicly but they may feel like they are unloved, lonely, desperate with very few to tell about it let alone understand.  perhaps these people long for a reboot of the whole damn thing?  for some a total change, however drastic and costly would be such welcome relief?  my faithful scepticism tends towards their world – especially at times like these.

for many of the brazen and outspoken, those who verbosely quote chapter and verse and pontificate on what the latest apostle/prophet/preacher/author last published … well, they too have fears and doubts – only their inner fears won’t allow them to acknowledge it.  but they feel safe inside their own minds because in this modern era volume is believed to be the all powerful answer

what is it about us that so easily wishes on things? why is it so easy for us to be effected by this kind of stuff?

as my blogname suggests, i am a faithful skeptic.  My views are not at all acceptable by the mainstream out there yet i too have a belief system and an extremely strong one at that.  this is what impacts me so greatly.  for me, having an extremely strong faith is not an achievement at all – as much as romantic love for another is not an achievement.  it just happens and we are swept along by it.  it tends to consume us.  and it leaks out for all except usually ourselves to see.  me, i am mostly shocked by my beliefs.  i have grown comfortable with them not because they are correct necessarily but because they are mine and they are all I have.  i doubt a lot and never stop questioning, but i cannot shake off my beliefs.  they sort of consume me

so, it looks like the world may not end today and for some this may very well be the end of their world

there is a song penned by phil keaggy long ago that has made an indelible impact on my thinking ever since i first heard it sung. the opening lyrics go something like this,

“who will speak up for the little ones?

hopeless and half abandoned

they’ve got a right to choose

life they don’t want to lose

i’ve got to speak up, won’t you?”

he was writing on the abortion issue as far as i can recall but it is nevertheless equally true for the lonely, the suffering, the desperate, those in despair and hopelessness, those whose personal reality clashes so dramatically with the theology and meme-artistry around them.

who will speak up for such as these?

me, i tend towards being brazen and self-possessed … but i’ve got quieten down a whole lot and speak up – won’t you?