Wednesday, March 30, 2011

two fears

The first is the fear of having anyone read my writing. I have an intense dislike of my own writing - once it's done, i re-read it and hate it so much I want to hit delete straightaway.

The second is having to critique someone's writing.

All this is because I'm glad someone I know didn't ask me to look through / edit her writing before it was published. It's now out and I'm heart glad that I didn't have anything to do with it.


The Soul Bone by Susan Wood

Once I said I didn't have a spiritual bone
in my body and meant by that
I didn't want to think of death,
as though any bone in us
could escape it. Maybe
I was afraid of what I couldn't know
for certain, a thud like the slamming
of a coffin lid, as final and inexplicable
as that. What was the soul anyway,
I wondered, but a homonym for loneliness?
Now, in late middle age, or more, I like to imagine it,
the spirit, the soul bone, as though it were hidden
somewhere inside my body, white as a tooth
that falls from a child's mouth, a dove,
the cloud it can fly through. Like bones,
it persists. Little knot of self, stubborn
as wildflowers in a Chilmark field in autumn,
the white ones they call boneset, for healing,
or the others, pearly everlasting.
The rabbis of the Midrash believed in the bone
and called it the luz, just like the Spanish word
for light, the size of a chickpea or an almond,
depending on which rabbi was telling the story,
found, they said, at the top of the spine or the base,
depending. No one's ever seen it, of course,
but sometimes at night I imagine I can feel it,
shining its light through my body, the bone
luminous, glowing in the dark. Sometimes,
if you listen, you might even hear that light
deep inside me, humming its brave little song.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

playing catch up

Coffee on Friday with Soaps. Saturday lunch with Mr Grey - such good pasta! Girls bible study group on Saturday. Sunday school gathering on Saturday night with much curry and laughter. Sunday school outing to ... the Great World City food court(!) on Sunday morning.

Good times.

I haven't been writing for awhile now, must find an empty evening and fill up on books books books soon.

Reading David Wells at the moment and feeling immeasurably sad and worried about the church in general.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunshine on a cloudy day

A little baby was found amongst the ruins of Ishinomaki in Japan. Unbelievable. Whole houses and cars are completely destroyed but this little baby survives.

It reminds me so much of this story.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have been Jean Valjean, and I have been Javert, but I wish to be Bishop Myriel. - Burk Parsons

In the end, our opinion does not really matter. We will not die and stand before a mirror to give an account. - Mark Driscoll

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Many waters

Talking to a friend on Sunday who'd served as a missionary in Japan, I was stunned when she said: "even those who survive the disaster might commit suicide because they've just lost everything and everyone...".

I cannot watch any more videos of the disaster or watch the news anymore. This is what I know of Japan - from various news articles and from reports of missionaries who've been there. Japanese society is deeply secular and emotionally fragile. It is a society that has been fraying at the seams for some time; their traditional values and way of life eroded by modernism and their own lack of a clear moral code.

There are very very few believers in Japan. The Japanese pride themselves on their technological advancements and economic strength. But in the last few decades, as those fell away, the emptiness inside the facade of strength has shown itself.

And now they need prayer and help like never before.

Let us pray.

This is Piper's prayer for them and I'm re-posting it here because I have no words that can adequately convey how I feel.

"Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.

O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.

And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.

Have you not encouraged us in this? Have we not heard a hundred times in your Word the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience? Do you not a thousand times withhold your judgments, leading your rebellious world toward repentance? Yes, Lord. For your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts.

Grant, O God, that the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved.

May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures’ pain. You did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for us all.

In Jesus you tasted loss. In Jesus you shared the overwhelming flood of our sorrows and suffering. In Jesus you are a sympathetic Priest in the midst of our pain.

Deal tenderly now, Father, with this fragile people. Woo them. Win them. Save them.

And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.

O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face.

In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

if the fit isn't right

Did you ever have people in your life who were just wrong for you? Not necessarily boyfriends, friends too.

I used to.

Looking back, what on earth was all that stuff for? I will never understand how I let myself go through all that.

But anyway, I saw these pictures from a friend's engagement, taken in CA, at the Bay Area. They were lovely and I expected the familiar heartache to hit again - it did but it was different.

I know now that it was wrong and it didn't fit. It would never have fit. But it's different now because then, everything else didn't fit too. Not my life, not work not God, not anything.

It's been a couple of years since and I've watched in amazement - almost from the sidelines - as things fell into place. All this time, I've just been a bit player in the drama unfolding, as though I stood off at a corner and just watched Providence at work.

The heartache is because I wish I could have been here sooner and not later. But that would be doubting Providence and God's timing.

I will go to the Bay Area one day - God willing - and it will be different.