Saturday, 18 February 2017

On Home.... and finding our way there

I could never bear to be away from home.

Homesickness thorned my side as a child. It snapped at the heels of my adventurous spirit waking me in the night on school trips or childhood sleepovers and filling me with an intense… sadness. Nothing was really wrong but something wasn’t right.

I would make up excuses to get taken home in the middle of the night, struggling to live joyful in the moment, always desperate for the returning home, the sense of something wrong, somehow coming right.

Of coming home safe and simply being known. Even in all its imperfection that we don’t understand when we’re small, I longed often for the home that always let me curl up small and be loved. Safe and known.

That’s the grace of home.

Now I live in a world where over 60 million are displaced from their homes. This is where I live now. In a world where children are fleeing from a war torn land so ravaged and desolated they were forced to fill their empty bellies with grass.

This is where we live now. Where 60 million people call home a tent, a camp. A Wilderness.

How do you make home when there is nowhere in the world that wants to know you? I feel it even here, here in our apparent freedom and safety, where we have nothing to flee and yet I look into eyes everyday that can’t settle into home, into eyes that are aching to be accepted and yet just find themselves staring into dark loneliness. All unknown.

60 million are running for their lives and the rest of us are just aching to find a way to live with it all.

Someway to make home.

All this talk about walls, as if it’s a new phenomenon that we live in a world where the human heart wreaks all selfish. Don’t I feel it everyday in the small corners of my life? I battle this desire to pull the walls of my home around me to make me feel a little bit safer? Shore up the bank account to help me breathe easy. Wrap my friends and family and little life around me so that if I cocoon it all up enough around me, none of this dark might get in. All this breaking and broken, how can I keep it out? Don’t I know these thought veins that run through my heart?

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

This trinity of love. God chooses this heart. Into this beating mess within us that flows with selfish intent, untamed thoughts and an unholy riot comes the Almighty and all Holy. Builds His home within flesh and bone. Chooses these weak vessels to fill with Holy heaven and blinding light and all that’s good.

And all the great big joy of heaven makes its home in me.
Yes, heaven chooses us. All out of love the Father draws near. All out of longing to be near us. All out of knowing He made us for something more, He gives up holy heaven to make His home in the imperfect place.

Yes, Grace comes here.

By Grace God builds His home here in me and it’s not by privilege or wealth or education or geography or some social lottery that He chooses but just because

Grace says so. Loves says

this new home where Father, Son and Spirit choose to dwell is where you will become all that you cannot be. And all the spaces within you that cannot be filled by anything or anyone else become filled with joy unending and all the wrong is silenced by a hope spoken in this home that says one days all will be made right.

Where we’re well and truly known. Heaven comes to know us and makes a home right in the middle of flesh and bone.

And so wherever we find ourselves and whatever happens…this is where we can live now.

This invitation into perfect love from a perfect God who chooses to be wrapped within an imperfect people. And as we love Him here, learn to be loved within this Holy community making all things new in me He whispers soft

Keep my word.

To keep, we have to treasure, hold tenderly and pull in close these truths. To keep, we have to breathe in grace- this gift of community birthed in us by a Holy communion. And as we keep, keep the words and all its words that speak and do love and mercy and justice to the outcast and the foreigner and the hurting and the wild crying of  this world we would become lives that are

laid down and wrapped up small so that we might fit in tenderly into broken places. Might they be lives that would be

laid open so that we can be wrapped back up around those who simply need to be held. Miles and miles away from home. So that they would be

Known. This is how we become homemakers in a land so far from anything that feels safe. We keep the word and let it dwell in us richly.

This is where I long to live. This is where we’re called to live, doors open, hands stretched wide, wrapped inside the lonely and the longing, building home from the inside out.
Filling the spaces left by gaping wounds with love. Offering up hope for all that is not yet.

Oh if only we could see the privilege and the gift

That this could be our home now.

Monday, 19 September 2016

On how the night is as bright as the day...

This night.... the darkness is just too big.

Too…. Dark.

When I was a little girl I slept with the landing light on and the door open. I would lie in darkness but desperate for the comfort that light really shone just around the corner.

We can feel like we’re lying awake in darkness. How the walls press in and shadows dance on the walls. They tell us lies about how we’re not enough. They play out hopeless endings to bleak stories.

Monsters still lurk under the bed.

And even now, all grown up and I lie paralyzed by fear. These hands struggle to loose the cords of oppression around the poor and vulnerable. This tongue trips over itself and can’t find the kind words that would heal a broken heart. All grown up and I’m still closing my eyes, pretending none of it’s real.

But it’s all real. All this darkness in our world, all these broken lives, homeless hearts and souls emptied of hope. There really are monsters lurking, I’ve seen them and so have you.

But there’s a light.

There’s always a light in the hallway, kept burning by a Father who says

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. I’m here.

So I look on the walls and shadowy lies die in the place of a truth that tells a story FULL of hope, lit up by a burning brightness that illuminates monsters and calls them out and laughs in the face of them.

This light, lit by love that said I’ll walk through the night for you and bear the weights that your hands can’t carry and I’ll be your kindness. I’ll take your shallow breathed prayers and watch as they melt everything that’s cold and dark and frozen.

Grace says lie here, be still here through the night, while I light up the dark.

And then awake into a light that has been won for you. Feel the strength in your fingers, find a new song to sing; Open your eyes, wake up into hope

And live.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The first word is the bravest

 When was the last time you did something that scared you?

So... yeah... brilliant. Like those words couldn't possibly cut like a knife.

It all started 6 months ago, sun seeking with my wild northern irish friend, picking at tapas and taking the time to ask one another... what are the things you would do if you really lived brave, if fear lived right where it should, firmly underneath your heel.

What would you do if you really lived free?

From the sublime to the ridiculous, it's a fun list to make, and perhaps, we thought, a harmless game to start playing.

But freedom isn't a trinket to be tossed around lightly. When your freedom comes at a cost money can't buy, there comes a few checkpoints on the road when you have to decide what you're going to do with it.
Because I believe mine was bought with nails and blood and a body broken and a victorious battle won in the dark.

yes yes... big words for a small attempt at a first ever blog post. But probably best to start as I mean to go on. Because I can't think of anything in the world that would get me to take the hairy scary adventurous dreams on my list and make them real.

Other than that. Other than a trembling trust that so strong is the blood that won me over, so deep is the love that chose to let it fall red to the ground, that all fear in me is weakened and falls dead in its presence.

So we're free to.... make new things. Have a go. completely fail and still come out winning.

And so last week as I kept thinking about what these first words would say... he spoke it out, our worship pastor leading this gathered family in our local church into a place of expectancy and faith...

When was the last time you did something that scared you?

And I thought about an 85 year old man I never even met, who spent his whole wild quietly free life on other people and how his funeral held 800 people because he knew what his freedom cost Jesus on the cross, and so he lived really brave and gave it all away.

And I think it takes a lifetime to work out but maybe I'm starting here. Learning how to be brave. How to give it all away, how to trust in grace and truth and a fear- defeating love. How to live full and fearlessly like you really are free, like there really is a lover of your soul, a maker of your heart who says

You are loved. No matter what the fear says. You are loved. There will always be enough, no matter what you give out, or what you give away, or what you give up.

With this love, there will always be enough so you can
Get brave, and get wild and get adventurous....

So I ask you...

When was the last time you did something that scared you?


*clicks Publish*