Posts Tagged ‘home’

It’s Monday morning. Monday morning in our house of communityness involves getting up (yes even in the unemployed state it is possible to get out of bed before 7am) and sitting in a room with 5 other sleepy people attempting to communicate with their Maker. That doesn’t involve a lot of chanting, wishing, spells and other things that the former sentence originally conjured up in my mind. We opened our mouths, talked and there you have it, we communicated with the unseen world. Which frankly is bizarre. The most constant battle in my mind this weekend has been with the seen and the unseen. If there is more to this world than is in front of my eyes, more that I can see, touch and experience right now then there are dramatic and life changing consequences to how I live my life on this planet.

I live in a culture that believes, more than ever, that we can have everything we want right now. Snap your fingers and behold, there you have it. I’m not sure when we bowed to this lie, when we lived so fast that we left ourselves behind. I live in culture that wants to experience everything right now, that derives meaning from all that we have experienced. (btw I’m not saying this as if it has only just occurred to me, obviously this is the case, I’m not offering out a new social commentary, merely picking up on the bleedin obvious in front of our eyes).

Time and our use of time is now a commodity, if you have the money time is there to be molded by you, influenced by you, you are in charge, nothing happens which we cannot control. We are our own lords and the thought that someone else might be in control, might be settling a different agenda is frankly a little ridiculous. Oh we pay lip service to this notion, but really, this is my life, my world. my time, my priorities, my agenda, my Saturday. And I’m wondering, what is so wrong with that? What is so bad about that? But does our lack of contentment, constant craving for more and more stuff, our refusal to be happy unless we have one more thing/relationship/job/high come from our problem with time? Do we really control our own time? And does that really bring the meaning, satisfaction and sense of wonder that we want it to?

But what if this is not our world? What if time wasn’t ours to play with, to master, to control, to manipulate and distort? What if all that is in front of my eyes isn’t what this world is about? What if there was someone else in charge? Would I want to follow them? What if they claimed to offer eternal time, time that goes beyond this world, time that offers life beyond our greatest fear?

I’m fighting with that notion right now. I want there to be more than this, but do I want that because I don’t have things that I really want right now? I don’t have a perfect house with a perfect relationship and a family on my doorstep. I cannot tell you how strong the ache is for some of this stuff. Part of me knows that there is more than this, that perfection can only be found beyond the grave, that we are waiting to be brought home. Part of me thinks these longings for perfection indicate that I am made for somewhere else, for a better world than this, for bluer skies, for deeper intimacy, for tangible joy. But am I just trying to make myself feel better about my lack of obvious things in this world? I have no job, I have no relationship, I have no house of my own, I have no discernible anchors in this world. And so is my longing for heaven a wish fulfillment? A way to deal with lack in this world? Or is it the natural desire for more? Built into me at birth from my knitter as he worked on me in the womb?

But there is this thought that makes me suspect my suspicions. What if I had those things, if I had family up the road who I could see each day, if I had a husband, kids, a lovely house of my own? I would still be me, I would still mess things up. The darkness would still be there, the pain would still be there, we would hurt each other and we would not be shielded from the brokenness of this world. I’m not saying this to prove that life is better without this stuff, it’s not a reason not to get married, have babies and buy a house. I’m not trying to justify my lifestyle to make myself feel better (well I probably am but that’s the way my brain works so go with it eh.) It’s just a warning to my soul to not long for perfection in circumstances but in something else.

And that is the question of this Monday morning. Is there more than this? Can I freely live in that knowledge being ok with not having all I want in this life? Is there more to this world than getting what I want all the time? Is it ok to be 30, not having anything you thought you might at this age? Is it ok to live for a time beyond this one and strike out for home deeply loving all around you and calling them to the journey? I want to, I want to, I want to. But these questions pull at me and drag me down again. I want to fly free from them, love well, accept the circumstances around me, trust in the One who has my times in his hands. I want to stand up and breathe the deeper, clearer air of Truth. This valley fog hangs so low at times.

(afterthought. which should not be an afterthought. “birds have nests, foxes have dens, but the hope of the whole world rests upon the shoulders of a homeless man”, there is someone who knows what this road is like…and I know, I have an amazing house, church family, friends who care, parents who love, I am ridiculously blessed.  It’s just what do you do with the questioning voice that wants more? Is that more just a reflection of our time and culture or is it a reflection that we were made for more, and that more is to be found in something other than immediate circumstances?)


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Why I love my Church.

There are many reasons I love this new family I have become part of in the last few months. Mostly it’s because we are small and stupid. We’re trying to work out how to love each other in the mess of broken lives. That means nothing looks particularly neat or polished. Heartbreak is out in the open. We aren’t so stuck behind polite walls. Of course we are some of the time but that’s part of our brokenness.

In the last 48 hours I have been prayed for and have prayed for others,  I’ve been encouraged through texts, e-mail and verbal communication (that’s clearly a phrase from the application forms…), I’ve reminded others of the wonder of our God, I’ve not wanted to do that, I’ve said things I shouldn’t have done,  I’ve attended our meetings and encouraged someone by just turning up, I’ve stuck addresses on envelopes because I’ve had the time and I’ve had many hugs.  I’ve been honest with people and haven’t been allowed to hide away in tiredness or in fear. In short I’ve been part of a giant collective WE (no there isn’t another ‘e’ lying around that sentence…).

That’s why I love my church, because we are together in this. It’s hard to sum it up into words, this feeling of family, of sharing lives with each other, of real love that goes beyond me and ends up free in the love and care of each other. Jesus’ ways really are best. His commitment to turning from His path and walking someone else’s is the Way in which to follow. The way we get to be most human in this life.

As ever Martyn Joseph sums it all up way better than I could.

“This is us, we, you and me together we are home..

We’re a stupid man, a dreamer
Got fire in a soul
A fighting, writing, wronging
A broken God shaped hole
Stand with you in the desert
Walk with you on the path
And the truth is I’m not joking
And I hope that you won’t laugh

This is us, we, you and me together we are home..

Bring on all the doubter’s
And those who know too much
To gather in the darkness
And find a common touch
Got no doubt we need  justice
Got no doubt we need some faith
Got no doubt that loves a mystery
I’m holding on to the tails of her grace

This is us, we, you and me together we are home..

I walked upon a treasured land
We all stood on her stage
We all sound checked together
A laughing holy rage
Some sang into each others eyes
Some sang to the ground
We were lost there when we started
But now we can be found

This is us, we, you and me together we are home…”

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Breakfast on our back step in the sunshine. Lunch in a similar fashion.  The walk of destiny at Chichester’s last CU meeting. All we do is incomplete. One day we will be home. Damien Rice being the perfect accompaniment driving back tonight.

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Today I sat at a table with my Relay Workers. We chatted, we read this, and we talked about the immensity of the Thursday that Jesus faced 2000 years ago. The Thursday where he took the Passover meal and made it about so much more. The Thursday where he told his disciples of a body broken and blood poured out. The Thursday where he wept, prayed and sweat blood in a garden whilst his friends fell asleep, oblivious to the pain going on near them. We remembered the Lord’s death, until he comes again, and we ate bread and drank wine.

Tonight I sat in the pub with my Drum group talking about a variety of random things, religion included. Sad to hear Christianity associated with just a strict moral code and the restrictions of a patriarchal society. The greatest truth of all is the one we seem to find it so hard to communicate. That we are not about trying to be good, but freely, openly admitting we are broken, alienated from this world, each other and our Maker, and that the way back is through one mans sacrifice. That I am accepted as I am, transformed to be what I was meant to be all along, and that I no longer have to try to be anything anymore. I am my Makers, I am in His family and I am free. That’s what we remember today and all this weekend. The immensity of God stepping in to love and bring his enemies home.

The questions ring around in my ears, do I live this freedom? Do I love this freedom? Do I embrace the freedom on offer and live a dangerous, risky life of love utterly secure in who I really am? And am I joyfully
thanking the one who bought this freedom with his life? Am I displaying this freedom to the world around?

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This week has been a strange one in the world of Hoveactually. Illness has bound me to the sofa, memories of this time a year ago have made me muse, and the constant sunshine has made me smile and think that something might be ok after all.

Things of note this week:

It’s been a year since the lovely James Meagher went Home. Quite apart from the strangeness of the passing of time, it’s weird that it’s been a year. We wonder how we cope with life, how people manage to keep walking through the pain of this world. And there is no quick answer, sometimes it’s like walking through the rain on a windy day, head down, face set and just the effort of putting one foot in front of the other. This life has many of those moments in it. Thankfully they are tempered by the times when the sun shines through the clouds, or even when the rain eases up a little.

I always turn to Martyn Joesph at these times:

“Sometimes I’m tired of the struggle, sometimes I’m tired of this face.
We shall overcome, just like the man said.
We’re walking on , we are walking. We’re walking on, just like the man said.”
“And though the bleak sky is burdened, I’ll pray anyway,
And though irony’s drained me, I’ll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here, will have to take me home.”

I’ve therefore been pondering the resurrection a whole lot more this week. It’s the one thing to hold onto. I have so many questions, so many things I don’t understand about this world and faith in it’s Maker. But I do know that He lived, died and rose. And that makes all the difference in this crazy world. Eternity is out there. Now we walk through valleys of shadows, one day we’ll be home.

Being ill is fairly rubbish, even for a little while, but when you wake up and your head is clear, your body has stopped aching and the sun is shining, the relief is wonderful. Times that by a million billion and you’ll not even come close to the sense of relief when we stand on the new earth, sun streaming on our faces, and the sure knowledge that we have come home.

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Rearranging the furniture.

Well, here it is, my new home. Do you like it? It’s shiny and new. (small hand claps). I’ve been on a blogging holiday for the last month and have been musing on whether to carry on with this lark. In those thoughts I’ve realised all over again what I love about blogging and why I’m going to carry on. I love the ability to be creative in a public space, the very public nature of all this forcing me to attempt to write well and order my thoughts in some constructive way. This is a genius medium to express myself in. I can put down thoughts in a vaguely coherent manner, test out ideas from this random mind of mine and have some fun along the way.

I like this new start, I like pretty wordpress blogs and I like that the point of this isn’t to do anything worthy or attract anyones attention. (yeah I know, deep down I want the adulation of the world but that’s another story entirely.) I’m looking forward to what follows, be it quotes, clips, ideas, musings, amusing moments, everyday moments, bits of my life and more. Mainly because I’ve discovered the best audience of these things is me. If that sounds a little egocentric I apologise. Really this is just a good space to plonk all of the things I like, think and enjoy, in a aesthetically pleasing format that is easier to access than my endless computer files. The whole thing is enjoyable to read through again and hopefully fun for anyone else who passes by. So if you are passing, welcome in, the keys are yours, make yourself a cup of tea and kick back on the sofa. Just turn the lights off when you leave.

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