Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I've been feeling my aloneness quite profoundly over these days/week. It's not loneliness - there are lots of ace people in my life. But as always, a holiday season has prompted in me a profound sense that I am at base alone i the world. At some levels it's a sense that is deepened by Mum's death but really it's been like this for a long time ... some of it is just that my family is REALLY small. And now it's just dad and me in our nuclear family and even in my next level out extended family just 4 people ... and we are spread over the country and dad is not in Melbourne during most holiday seasons. So aloneness at a deep level.

It's been good to cry out to God in the midst of that and to know his presence but for it not to take the realness of the aloneness away - and that is good, as much as I just wanted it taken away, I know that life only comes through facing truth and facing the death that truth speaks .. it's only then that new life will somehow, sometime emerge.

One of the things I wrestle with in all that is what does it mean to not indulge myself in these feelings but also to not allow busyness or anything else to cover over them ... I think I'm learning more about that balence than I ever have before. A friend had a spiritual director who met her for the first time the other day ask her if her depression was an indulgence - the words made her ponder, and they have made me ponder too.

I'm in a hard spot but in that feel I am doing well ... though it is agony.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Control or Resurrection life

I want to control
But that's what Good Friday is about
- the world (the darkness in the world) having the final say,
those who want to maintain control putting Jesus to death.

But the Resurrection shatters our illusions of control,
Shatters our illusions that we can control God,
that we can control the force of life in the world.

Even when we tried, and try, to control him and his force of life,
He shatters those illusions ...
and comes and walks alongside
inviting us into his path of life.

But we need to let go of control,
for the heart that wants to control,
will refuse to see the truth of the resurrection,
will refuse to acknowledge who it is alongside.

But for those who choose to embrace truth,
who allow God to be God,
they, we, are invited into life with the one who surprises us,
who walks alongside,
and invites us into his resurrrection life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday Reflection

(Written to be read after reading Luke 23:50-56)


He died yesterday.
They prepared the spices for his body,
No doubt in the midst of all sorts of questions and feelings.
But the ability to do something was good.

Now they are constrained by the Sabbath.
Or maybe more accurately – maybe they are freed by the Sabbath.
Constrained in what they do.
Freed to feel what they feel,
To truly experience,
The emptiness, grief, guilt, confusion, shock and pain.

I imagine it was a bit like the emptiness of the funeral night in our society,
That time where all the busy-ness has been done and there is no more to do,
Where the tiredness can come crashing in,
Where we are frightingly alone with all that we feel.

And alone with our thoughts and feelings,
Some things become clearer – there are stunning moments of clarity,
But much is blurred by the many emotions that we feel,
And we wonder why,
wonder if we could have done anything to prevent it,
Wonder if we missed the hints,
Wonder if we were mistaken in loving,
Pretend that it doesn’t matter,
And at the bottom of all that,
When the raging somehow quietly stills,
Emptiness alone.

So on that Sabbath,
The one after Jesus died,
I imagine his followers had so many feelings that raged around.
I imagine that they had moments of clarity in the midst of the storm,
Times of piecing together Jesus’ words,
running through every interaction, picking up his hints about dying,
even in those moments of clarity,
still not understanding all that he said,
not understanding all that is to come.

But mostly I imagine they feel empty,
I imagine they feel alone,
I imagine they wonder what life is now that Jesus has gone,
I imagine they wonder if they were stupid to give their love and devotion to this one who is now no more.
I imagine they wonder if they could have stopped it.
I imagine they try just to do what they normally would have on the Sabbath before this all began.
I imagine they wonder if they could do anything to change it.
I imagine that questions and accusations abound,
That the raging torrent of grief is strong,
And beneath all that,
Emptiness abounds.

Embracing the emptiness,
The raging torrent of questions and emotions,
That is the place this day in the story invites us into.

From our place, we know new life will come,
But let us experience the emptiness,
The guilt, the grief, the confusion, the shock, the pain.
It’s as we experience that fully,
That strangely a new life we never thought would come,
Meets us powerfully in ways we never thought imaginable.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Tonight was our Tennaebrae service. It is often a special reflective time for me and tonight was no different. I was discussing various things with my Alexander teacher today - including a passing comment from her about my tendency to abandon myself. It struck me because they are words that Anj has used at various points so it was in my head for the rest of the day following my lesson.

Tonight during the service the words betrayal struck me afresh and I was conscious of needing to stay with that. As I stayed with that, the conversation from earlier in the day came back ... and they came together powerfully - my tendency to betray the body of Christ in the way that I abandon myself. And also my tendency to betray the body of Christ in the way I treat others in the body of Christ (often through the process of abandoning myself - my deep true self, my alive to God self).

It was an amazing centring time to mostly stay in silence as I helped pack up (i might become a quaker yet!; certainly time for some more silent retreats for me), very much staying in the place of not abandoning myself.

Also amazing was the lack of condemnation I felt as I had this realisation - a level of sadness, yes; but condemnation, no; more a sure knowledge of the invitation to life that the realisation is: an invitation to not betray the body of Christ but to choose life not death for the true, alive to God self in me and others.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Snippets of Life

Life is very full at the moment, here are some snippets that give you a window into the whole:

- Walking home yesterday, bumped into someone I know through the op shop, got my car from home and helped jump start their car (Gosh I love Fairfield and more and more being a part of this place in all sorts of ways)

- Walked around the Fairfield Village SPACE building (St Paul's Anglican Church building) with the architects and consultants who we have working on a feasibility study for our renovations and making the space into a family wellness and childrens and families learning and play cantre.

- Sold a house: now that made me feel like an adult! Argued with the real estate agent about the price of the reserve ... and got a good, solid price, I am pleased.

- Have experienced more of a mystery illness, that bizarrely while it's absolutely annoying physically I'm not stressed about on some other levels.

- Having some more Alexander Technique lessons

- Having a week of trusting God about a range of things in consistently deeper ways.

- Being more grounded in myself (and God) than ever before and being able to see that through some quite concrete responses.

- Translating John 1 and getting translations in on time.

Life is very, very full; but quite good as well.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Bit of an Update

It feels like ages aince I posted on here - each day is so full and goes so fast at the moment, but with quite significant things happening as well as just mundane things of life.

Last week I started back at college after a couple of years not studying. It's going to be a stretch for my Greek (I'm doing John's gospel - Greek text). It was also good to see how in general my confidence is so different and I am so much more able to be my true self than I've ever been in an academic setting - so that's fun. But I was in culture shock at how far I've been out of the "evangelical" church environment - I came away from two days at college last week saying "if I hear the words gospel ministry or evangelical ministry again I'll shoot someone". Well I wouldn't go that far - but I did notice strongly the assumptions about what everyone in the class/stream would think and the strong bias towards a particular theological stance - one that would be different to many of my baseline beliefs now. So that's all interesting.

On Saturday friends got married - and I mostly married them (everything but the legal signature bits - 'cause I can't do those bits yet!). So that was fun but exhausting ... and the bride also stayed at my house the night before so yes it was quite a couple of days!

In the Op Shop we are having a Kids market on Monday week (10th March) so yesterday we were sorting kids clothes all afternoon - fun with people I love hanging with.

Saturday (1st March) was my first day officially in my new role as Fairfield SPACE Presence, Manager and Liason (we are still looking for a better name! - various people are voting for SPACE Cadet!). It's a bit wierd at some levels because much of my new role I've either been doing as a volunteer or in my paid role but the ace thing is that it all enables me to focus on it more - and with the things I've been doing as a volunteer at the fore (which is much more the stuff that excites me etc). I'm still finishing off stuff from my old role and it seems a bit like I'm the only person in the system noticing that these few days are a new start (to be honest only a couple of us really know!). Talking to a good friend today - we spoke about how to mark it for myself - this is part of that but she is also coming across and we will have a drink at lunchtime!

And in the midst of all that I have had some significant periods of grief over the last few weeks as we head up to the Auction of mum's house next weekend.

Mmmm ... okay it's no wonder I'm exhausted!!!!