Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Noah funeral 4b.jpgTwo funerals this year so far; one shocking, one elegiac. Both with foreign condolences; one military, the other medical.  Both with plenty of food after; one pushed down with tea, the other with vodka.  Both with memories of lives lived; of 11 weeks, and of 96 years.  Both funerals are worth a thought.  But I’ll tell you of baby Noah’s now.

How can a funeral capture both the sense of loss, the genuine loss; and the sense of hope, confidence?   And also a mysterious third dimension- that it is better to have genuinely loved and lost, is better than never having loved at all, so never suffered the loss?

This funeral did work us for the tears: ♫Benedictus, Karl Jenkins; ♫Jealous of the Angels, Katherine Jenkins; ♫ Brahms’ Lullaby, Celine Dion. (more…)



Daniel is dead.  Jerry is now quaking for his son.  Daniel was 16.  Jerry is a drug dealer and in prison.

Dan Spargo-Mabbs lived in Croydon. The family are regular members of their church, Emmanuel South Croydon. Dan used to run free errands for the elderly people to whom he delivered papers. He also helped out church members with gardening and odd jobs.  You’d be happy to have the family round for dinner.  Fathers – you’d be happy for your 16 year old daughters to date him.

On Friday 17th January 2014, Dan persuaded his mum to let him go to a local party with friends. As Dan was usually responsible, mum agreed. But they went to an illegal rave instead. It was the first time he’d been to a rave. At the rave Dan (more…)

Sunrise.jpgThey found the body.  Which one?  The day after the beautiful sunrise picture, in Lake Gahini, Rwanda, I was in Kigali in the genocide centre. Freshly found bodies, ready to be interred (see picture below). With prayers and respect.  What is Easter Day to them and their families?  Of for the wounded and maimed in Brussels.  Of for that matter, all struggling  with unloving relationships, unkind bosses, bullies at work and school? (more…)


Staring at the death of Life
the end of all I’d hoped for,
has the Light gone for evermore?

When the evidence lies at my feet
that it isn’t going to happen. Do I bleat
“huh, it didn’t really matter after all.”


Je Suis ‘Noon’

Posted: 11 January 2015 in Understanding Others
Tags: ,


Je ne suis pas Charlie, juif, Ahmed. Je suis ‘noon’

And for some it is ‘High Noon’ indeed. This ‘noon’ is the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet and it is being daubed on the homes of Christians in Iraq, by Isis jihadis when they take over. The ن stands for Nasara or Nazarenes, a pejorative Arabic word for Christians. They are marked men. The oppressor threatens to forcibly convert, or expel, or kill not just Christians, but Jews, Yasidis, Shias and Sunnis of other schools.


Jesus and Pilate

Resurrection power – an empty tomb. Oh yes
Bereavement loss – an empty bed. Oh no.
Miraculous healings –yes please.
Creeping Alzheimer’s – no thanks.
Connecting with friends – my likes up
Betrayed with a kiss – more than your account will be closed.
Reunions by the Garden Tomb – how picturesque
Gang stabbing in Peckham – less picturesque
Easter Sunday’s gone, but what about Good Friday?


thCA7GQB10Were you spot the right murderer on Broadchurch? Or were you shocked? Would you be beginning to pray for the perpetrator, Joe Miller, and for his wife and son now? Or does the prison ministry part of the brain get switched off when the TV is switched on?