Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

coronavirus-Christians.jpgHundreds of thousands dead and millions in fear, economies and schools at a standstill, Where is God then?  Atheists say God died long before the virus came a visiting.  They say there is no basic good and evil.  There is no special sacrifice of love by Key Workers, other than a self-interested group decision to defend a wider collective.  There is no purpose, no meaning, no hope.  Well that fits neither ancient wisdom, the understanding of the major religions, nor the enduring hope expected by Jesus[ii].

Is this divine punishment
God’s judgement on some because they are wicked, while the not-wicked live.  This kind of story gets peddled by fringe groups and rebroadcasted by the media as it makes wonderful copy.  Jesus and his teaching is dismissive of such claims.  (more…)

how r u.jpgHow are you?  On sunny days this is bland and a vanilla greeting or conversation starter.  It is a toughie when life is stressing and circumstances hard.  As I am currently finding out.  At the moment, the question is “How is A[i]?” “A” is a close family member who has just had a significant operation, and suffered from non-fatal but unpleasant post-op complications.

I see the friend sidle up. The frown emerge (early indicator of a “serious question” is about to emerge) and I get a scent of a “How is A?” question coming.  Then I find myself seeking to get away.

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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?

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

daniel-sm

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…)

Corpse

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.”

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Je Suis ‘Noon’

Posted: 11 January 2015 in Understanding Others
Tags: ,

noon

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.

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