All posts filed under: Jesus

This is how I’m voting. And Olaf.

What more can be said? That has been my defence for saying precisely nothing about the upcoming postal plebiscite on marriage here in The Great Southland. And then I remembered Olaf. Olaf is the endearing snowman character in the Disney movie, Frozen. I know this because both my children are enchanted by the film and invariably ask me to play various YouTube clips from it daily. Often more than once. And there’s this one tune where Olaf waxes lyrical about his long-held desire to experience Summer. “A drink in my hand My snow up against the burning sand Prob’ly getting gorgeously tanned In summer!” Olaf sings this – the snowman who’s made of ice that melts and all. Seeing that charming, smiling character waltzing to his own demise made me think of Australians who are blindly accepting the yes vote because “love is love”.  No thought to repercussions that other countries are already experiencing. And then there’s the Kristoffs and Annas (you need to watch the clip!) who are withholding their voice, their information, their …

A poem. About God. And I’m no poet.

I wrote a poem this morning. I did it during my quiet time. And this is no brag, friends, because I’ve been absent from daily hangouts with my Maker lately. Confession is liberating hey. So I was perusing the scriptures and there was this compulsion to pull out my journal and write. So I did. Interrupted somewhat by a little person who wanted to be on my lap. Then off. Then on. Then crying because I said no. Anyway. This is what resulted. I’m sharing it – not because I think it’s any rival to the likes of Tennyson or Keats – but because it was a creative act of worship, of honesty and oneness that you might like to try. For me, it was just a matter of picking up the pen and letting it lead me somewhere. How do I describe you? You are vapour, whiff, mirage, question mark apparition, something my head so swiftly calculates as void. Sometimes you are here, deep in the core, flame, heat searing outward, flushed face, scalding …

These 33-year-old hands

I’m looking at my hands in the shower as the water runs over them, filling up the liminal lines, smoothing the ridges, the whorls that make up the unique geography of my skin. These 33-year-old hands. I’m thinking that 33 is how old Jesus was when he died. It’s a sobering thought. Who he is, who I am. What he was prepared to die for, what I am prepared to die for. His ministry, my ministry. His relationship with Father, my relationship with Father. His body, my body. And our hands. My hands; they smooth out sheets… spread peanut butter sandwiches… stick Star Wars bandaids on knees… tap-tap-tap on computer keys… swipe hair from eyes… stir soup… grip steering wheel… cup faces. His hands; they gestured in emphasis of teachings… washed dusty feet… brushed tears from eyes… rubbed forehead and temples… clasped tight under a murmuring mouth… stroked the fetlock of a donkey… turned tables over… ripped bread in two… comforted. His hands invited brute nails through flesh and bone. I look at my own pale …

What’s that smell?

My two-year-old darling goes to daycare once a week. She loves it – spends most of the time making dirt pies outside, Mr Biddulph will be pleased to hear, and I’m always thrilled to see how much dirt her clothes have managed to carry home. That statement’s not tongue-in-cheek, by the way. I really am stoked to see her grimy clothes, the clumps of dirt secreted in the toes of her shoes, and know that she’s been engaged in some good, old-fashioned play. Each time I pick her up, swinging her into my arms and covering her face with kisses, I notice a strange smell. When I put my nose to it, inhaling at her neck and in her ash-blonde hair, I realise what it is: someone else’s perfume – the lingering fragrance of another woman’s loving cuddles. The evidence of a Jesus-centred (or should that be Jesus-scented?) life is like this, like a sweet aroma that people are drawn to, intrigued by, entranced by, and which even rubs off on them. They take that aroma home, …

Reading the raunchiest book in the Bible.

I’ve been reading Song of Songs these past few days. I wanted to better understand the concept of my faith being a romance with Jesus. Reading this short book of the Bible always made me feel uncomfortable, confused even. Like watching a steamy love scene in a movie with your parents sitting on the couch beside you.

Into the Secret Garden of His Presence

I’d been thinking it all wrong. We were in church, singing. I love singing those songs that carry me to a place of peace and worship, songs that focus my attention on what I wish I’d been focusing on all week long; God’s love for me. So many distractions, still. I squeezed my eyes shut, raised my hands, palms up, surrender. When distractions buzz around my head I focus on Jesus – his name, his presence, even the image of him. I block out the reality of all the bodies around me and their voices and their eyes, I block them all out, or I try, so that it’s just the two of us. That’s what I did today. As the music crescendoed I pictured Jesus up there in the sky, high above me, looking down benevolently. There may have even been some fluffy white clouds at his feet. I’m surprised at myself. Even as I put the thought bubble into words. What was I thinking? What kind of stereotyped version of my Saviour had I conjured up …

My All Time Favourite Birthday Present

It’s an awkward thing, opening presents, isn’t it? Kids have this marvellous rite of passage to react authentically to the gift they have just unwrapped. If they throw it to the side or make some brazen comment like, “It’s just clothes!” – we laugh at them, call them cute for speaking their mind. But in Adult Land, whether it’s a wonderfully thoughtful birthday gift or an I-grabbed-it-from-the-newsagent-on-the-way-here gift, there’s a certain etiquette to be adhered to. The card must be opened first, for example. A comment on the wrapping doesn’t go astray. Some will employ humour by wrestling a little with the method of wrap adhesion (tape, string, staples…) before ripping the paper apart with childish gusto (delightful diversion tactic, really). There might be layers to peel back, building tension to crescendo as cellophane, bubble wrap, tissue paper and styrofoam are gently removed to reveal… what? The moment of truth: can you let your genuine reaction free? Or will you be needing those rusty high school drama class skills once again? It was my birthday today. Would you …

God in the Smell of Frying Onion

  “We get so caught up in the emotional,” she said with her hand splayed across her chest, “and the intellectual,” moving her hand to her right temple. “But God is in the sensory too.” We’d been discussing a soul-weary friend who’d found healing and restoration through cooking. The grip of hand on wooden spoon. The rhythmic flex of muscles as she mixes, mixes. The smells of cocoa, butter, sugar. The cloud of flour. The finger scraped around the bowl’s lip to taste the batter. The warmth of the oven. The satisfaction as she slides the tray into the heat, sets the timer. I know you know what I mean. It’s when those of us with mentally and emotionally demanding jobs (motherhood included) look admiringly at the woman serving our coffee. Oh, for a job that’s only demand is physical – the dash from table to table, the balance of cups and saucers, the binning of coffee grinds – all while the exercise, the aroma, the chatter feeds a strange yearning for tactile stimulation. I …

Five ways to keep Easter real

Easter is the most important time on the Christian calendar, right? Which explains why I get to this time of the year and fret over how I can give Easter its due weight of significance. God gave so much for us – how can I appropriately acknowledge that? Not in a religious way, mind, but in a way that focuses my thinking and gives new revelation of Easter’s gift. With two little ones in the fold, I’m also conscious of the way we do Easter for them. I’m not opposed to a good old Easter egg hunt, but I want them to grow up with a clear understanding that this time of the year is more about Jesus than chocolate. Which is why I sat down and wrote these five things I’ll be focusing on this Easter to keep it real. ONE. Attend a gathering of some description. It could be a church service or an Easter parade, a festival, feast or mass. The important thing is to be part of a throng of like-minded people. …