Seeing Through The Sneers

By April 18, 2016 Blog

I’m tired of cynicism. Propping up the bar, all dark and self-conscious. You’re cool mate, but you’re miserable too. Standing back and passing judgement. Stamping on Shrugging at other people’s parades. Sneering, ‘it’ll never work. The world’s not like that.” Refusing to ever see the good. Well, forget it. It’s been fun…well – interesting, while it lasted.  But I’ve met someone new. Someone you know. Hope.  Yeah, her. The one we used to laugh at. “Unfashionable and embarrassing,” we said. …Read More

A New Year. And That’s Good

By December 30, 2015 Blog

Hope. Whatever you’re facing; (and even if you’re refusing to face it). Not a wishy-washy sense that everything will be okay. Not a feeling or a temperament. Not a stake in something that can be torn away. Hope. Not something you work up by yourself. Not dependent on those around you. Not about your house or your health or your happiness. Hope. Not for other people. Not for when you’ve earned it and ticked off your list. Not for when the holiday …Read More

What We’ve Got, Not What We’ve Not

By September 14, 2014 Blog

One of our friends works in a spinal injuries unit. She was talking about the challenges of caring for those who’ve experienced such trauma: and said something very striking. Out of  all of those on the ward, she said, it’s often the patients with the worst injuries who are most joyful and most hopeful. Shocked, we asked why and she said: ‘it’s obvious, really. They’ve come closest to death: and they’re just grateful to be alive.’ Each person has a different story and a different response to …Read More

Know Hope

By August 31, 2014 Blog

There are days when it feels like you’re a hoover: sucking things out, when others put back. You take up too much space, where others are welcome. Your work has no purpose; or the absence of a job title makes you less than everyone else. There are days when it feels like everything you say marks you out. You speak when you should be silent.  You have scars where others are smooth.  You tremble at the things others take for granted. There are days …Read More

Reasons to Be Hopeful

By June 29, 2014 Blog

1.  Jesus is in the business of resurrection.  So whatever it is that feels dead: your dreams, your marriage, your self-worth, your hope – He can work life where there is none.  He can bring something from what is not. 2. The best is yet to come.  You are not past your prime, nor doomed to spend life looking backwards and mired in regret. Jesus is coming back and He will make all things new: you won’t recognise yourself in …Read More

Horrible Hope

By April 25, 2014 Blog

I’ve always thought that hope is more frightening than despair.  With despair, you seal off your exits. Like in dreams when you’re being chased by an axe-man and it’s easier to stop and be killed, than keep running, keep trying and keep going. The upside of stopping, is you can pretend control.  The downside is,  you always die. So, here’s the question: Better to say to the axe-man (and yourself), ‘I told you so’ and die feeling righteous? Or take …Read More

Life Holes

By March 5, 2014 Blog

Is it possible to ‘lose’ something that was never yours?  A husband, but you never got married.  A son, but you never had kids.  A happy childhood; that belonged to someone else. You never had them, but you Know – they were meant to be be yours.  And there’s a hole; a physical hole where they should be. You look into that hole but you’re scared of falling in. And you ask God, ‘WHY?’ Because ‘loss’  can become ‘lost’ if …Read More

Happy Birth Day

By December 9, 2013 Blog

Something about Christmas makes the holes in your life feel – well, hole-ier. The business of busyness. The clamour of tills and expectations. The feeling that you’re just one mince pie/box set/stocking filler from enjoying the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The family nativities and the new babies. Will sprouts and turkey fill the hole of childlessness? No they will not. …   This Sunday at church we were looking at Luke chapter 1.  I read the heading: A …Read More

First Steps

By September 9, 2013 Blog

I’ve been reading the incredible story of Sunny Jacobs and her husband, Peter Pringle.  (Full Guardian interview here) Between them they have served 32 years in prison: both for crimes they didn’t commit. Sunny was 28 when she, her two children and boyfriend Jesse, accepted a lift from Walter Rhodes, a man she thought she knew. She fell asleep in the car and awoke to the sound of gunfire: a policeman had knocked on the window and Rhodes opened fire. …Read More

Dangerous Faith

By April 12, 2013 Blog

How big is our God? Big enough to deal with floods? With cancer? Big enough to deal with abuse – or addiction?  Big enough to deal with child soldiers and genocide? With divorce and bereavement and childlessness and suicide and grief and loneliness and singleness and anarchy and democracy? Big enough to deal with Jimmy Saville?  Big enough to deal with regret and shame and anger and sorrow and bitterness? And how loving is our God?  When He looks at …Read More