All posts tagged: difficulty

I’m a Christian and I’ve had a Crap Year

It’s been a crap year. A friend came and sat beside me at church and asked how I was. “How’ve you been? How’s life for Team van Ryn?” I looked her in the eye and decided that instead of contriving a sugar-coated response, I’d give it to her straight.  She’s the kind of person with the knack for teasing the truth out anyway.  I told her about the funerals, the health scares, the medication complications, the ‘no driving’ instruction, the waiting, the thwarted plans and the feelings of sorrow, frustration and fear. She nodded and said she had experienced the same periods of difficulty in her own past. “There’s nothing I can say,” she acknowledged, “but don’t be afraid to let it show.  Be honest with people.” It was immensely refreshing to speak so candidly.  To lose the pasted-on smile and the trying-too-hard squeak of happiness in the voice, shuffling from foot to foot while casting a line into the waters of the past to hook a positive, something to talk about without making people …

Kissing the Bullet

Who would have thought that being shot in the head would be such a boon!  When 16 year old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai took a bullet to her cranium in October last year for speaking out against the Taliban, she can’t have anticipated what a blessing in disguise that piece of metal would be. A year on, the young campaigner for the education of women has experienced worldwide exposure, won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize, been invited to the White House by US President Barack Obama himself and released her first book, ‘I Am Malala’. I wonder if she has that bullet propped on her bedside table and, every so often, she picks it up, rolls it around in her palm, maybe even kisses it and whispers, “Thank you little bullet!” Malala is an extraordinary girl.  I hesitate to use the word ‘girl’ for one who has demonstrated wisdom and courage well beyond her 16 years.  Making good of a bad situation takes a lot of character – in fact, it is the …