Monday, October 31, 2005

Slave nor free

Over the last while I've been increasingly aware of the way in which I "classify" people. A whole range of categories: age, class, stage of life ... I could go on. In many ways it doesn't mean I relate to them less but it does make a very real difference. Some stuff has been happening in me that has caused me to reflect on "there is no Greek nor Jew, slave nor free" (Gal. 3:28)and this has cut to the core. In so many ways I don't distinguish between people, yet in so many ways I do and in ways that mean that identity speaks stronger to me about them than their identity as people made in the image of God, people who are "one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28 again). My perceptions definately mean that I often don't relate to people in the freedom that God would long for me to and not in ways that offer the life in me to them (and receive from life in them).

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Threads of my Week

It's been a tiring week but one full of life in many ways. One full of strands coming together too. There are many strands, let me share a few.

A few days ago I sahred about getting to a point of saying "squashed by the body of Chirst" - the next question that rose inside me (I reckon by the Spirit) was: "squashed by the body of Christ or not letting yourself be seen by the body of Christ?" Ouch! I think both are true but it's very obvious to me that the invitation to me is to let myself be seen, no matter how people respond. It's a hard call for me, definately a call for me to move from "communinity for myself" to "myself for the community", definately a "death to self" kind of invitation. One that has been tested this week too. And one that I also know has much life.

Last Sunday night at our gospel reflection in the Communion service I participate in as I thought about what the reading of the day was inviting me to for the coming week I said: I think the invitation for me is to let God silence my questions.

Over the last week I have read Job in two sittings with some others. It's so powerful and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been interesting to do that in the context of the above statement about questions and to go "that is so what happens in that story". The thing that has lasted with me is part of Job's answer to God (in The Message): "I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand - from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry - forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor." It's being met by God that we all need and this is the place we need to live out of, it's the only place of life and it's only when we let God silence us that we are able to be fully in that place, able to live fully out of that place.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Henri Nouwen Reading of yesterday!

Meeting Christ in the Church

Loving the Church does not require romantic emotions. It requires the will to see the living Christ among his people and to love them as we want to love Christ himself. This is true not only for the "little" people - the poor, the oppressed, the forgotten - but also for the "big" people who exercise authority in the Church.

To love the Church means to be willing to meet Jesus wherever we go in the Church. This love doesn't mean agreeing with or approving of everyone's ideas or behavior. On the contrary, it can call us to confront those who hide Christ from us. But whether we confront or affirm, criticize or praise, we can only become fruitful when our words and actions come from hearts that love the Church.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Quote of the Day

"I don’t have a voice in your life until I have a stake in your life, cultivated and genuine."

From this post via Julie

Monday, October 24, 2005


Had a very mixed day and as I arrived at "Remaking", our spiritual formations night I was quite excited. I'd been over at a friends telling her about some stuff that God is bringing together - that is spinning both of us out - I'm sure you'll hear more of that in due course. But tonight we were doing some stuff around contemplation - great stuff, centering prayer. As we were discussing afterwards I was reflecting on how so often when I'm excited and celebrating I end up in a situation where it's reflective and I feel like that excited and celebrating part of me is "squashed" - someone in the group commented "squashed by God" and as I've reflected on it I have thought no - it feels like I'm "squashed by the body of Christ". That's a very normal experience for me - the lack of ability to be myself around "the church".

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Over the last day or so I've had a great story of reconciliation. Again can't really talk about it in detail - but it's made me think about how I've learnt lots this year about reconciliation and about some processes of it that I haven't really known before.

I'm such a "let's figure this out" kind of person (anyone who knows me well will be going "really! how surprising to hear that - NOT!") but I've been learning lots about letting God figure it and me and others out. Not about withdrawing (although stepping back or letting others step back is often the thing I might need to do) but rather staying in the relationship at whatever level the Spirit seems to be leading me too and seems helpful and do-able and in that letting God do the work in me and in the other/s that needs to be done for true reconciliation. That may mean stuff needs to be verbalised, often way less than I might have thought was necessary (or than I might have used to in actual fact avoid the work God might be wanting to do in me or in another). It may mean leaving some space (sometimes minutes/sometimes years) for healing to occur deep within each person. It may mean relating through the tension, trusting that God will work deeply in each person; letting him do that in me and making choices along the way which offer healing and love to others. It is most likely about simple choices of love, relationship and actions which are true to both yourself and others and these are the things that speak volumes.
Finally, and most importantly, I'm learning that true reconciliation is definately a gift of grace and something that goes way deeper than anything that we could manufacture or strive for. It is always about choosing love over being right and choosing for relationship and for the things that matter over things that seem to matter but really just distract from the things that matter. It is about staying true to who you are and letting someone else stay true to who they are but about letting something far greater than any differences that raises to have the final say.
True reconciliation is a deep, precious, wonderful gift and I'm thankful both for the gift of that in many places in my life and also for the growth in a deep lived experience and knowledge of this precious, mysterious gift of grace.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hard Stuff

In many ways it's been a hard week. It's not stuff that I can really talk about but it is wearing and demanding at every level. The thing though that I've been enjoying the experience of is that it's not consuming. There's a level that I am really experiencing a difference between now and the past in a tricky, hard situation. I'm very thankful for being able to sense the work that God has done in me that means that I'm in a different place to how I previously have been.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Heart wrenching Truth

There are times when great, amazing words are spoken - that are very wise and true and truth far deeper than any words that are spoken is spoken into your heart. This truth is beyond words - it is a meeting with The Truth himself.
That was my experience of yesterday.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Festival Weekend

Well I'm having a bit of a struggle getting into my day today - am way tireder than I thought I would be.
It's been a good weekend. The first of the Solace festivals - a weekend away in Woodend ... some of you will know that it's a place that brings back lots of memories! Even spent quite a bit of the weekend in a pub that I have had dinner numerous times - so loads of interesting trips down memory lane to quite a different time.
The weekend itself had nurerous sacred moments, as we shared life together in many ways. We stayed in various places and came together for a number of "festival wide" events. About 12 of us stayed in a caravan park nearby in Macedon, while others stayed in B & B's in the area and other accomadation. It was a good time of such "being" together and of building stronger relationships with people you know well and see a bit as well as people you don't know very well at all.
A group of us read thru the second half of Job together on Saturday morning - a great experience, continuing on from a tiem a few weeks ago. Someone keeps saying we should make a musical of it - only half jokingly. Great discussion and powerful time of reading.
Saturday night was a powerful time of sharing from who we are. People sang songs, shared stories, discussed some art work. I spoke about some "art" I'd done - with the word Allegiance in the centre and some words from a book called Community and Growth all around the canvas. I'll try and take a photo of it soon and put it up. The art had a coffee background - an idea taken from a Sydney friend and symbolising the way that there are many people beyond the Solace community who feed me and feed into what I bring into Solace ... you reading this are probably one of them!
God was definately honoured through the sharing of ourselves and the honouring of each other that happened over the weekend.