All posts tagged: love

Come Back to the Table

Our dining table was bought at an auction – Baltic pine top with turned wooden legs painted gloss black. People say it has character. Maybe that’s just a nice way of saying it’s old and tired, but I don’t mind. What appealed to me as I circumnavigated the eight-seater on the concrete floor of the auction house was the raw timber marked with knots, scratches, nail heads and indentations. It was like looking at the flotsam of many meals shared. I liked the thought that we could add our own marks to this table – and we have. There’s a splotch of red paint from the time my son loaded his brush to outline a fierce dinosaur on butchers paper. There are subtle impressions from the many times I have written shopping lists and letters. There are crumbs in the cracks and circular watermarks, coffee marks, wine marks. Secretly, I hope our kids will engrave their initials in it someday. Of all the pieces of furniture in the home, the table is perhaps the most …

Just Call Me OH&S Officer on Steroids

I am Mother. And I am Risk Assessment Officer. As mum to an adventurous toddler and his equally daring baby sister, I have discovered a habit that I’ve yet to decide whether is newly acquired or some kind of primal maternal behavior. Perhaps it’s just plain evidence of madness. In every context where my children are present (or will be), my mind darts ahead, scanning for hazards. You may as well just hand me one of those risk assessment forms – although I feel certain my process would be more thorough. An example? Hubby and I were going to bed – clearing the benches and switching lights off – when I noticed a packet of lollies on the table. I picked it up and stashed it in a cupboard up high so the first thing consumed the next morning wouldn’t be the equivalent of 48 teaspoons of sugar. Then the RAO in me took over. What if our capable toddler pulls a stool over to the cupboard? What if he stands on that stool, and …

An Easter Question: Who is Greater?

“He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” – one of many taunts that were spat at Jesus while he hung dying on a cross more than 2000 years ago. Limp. Parched. Bleeding. Hurting. The notice describing the charge and basis for Jesus’ death penalty read: “The King of the Jews”. He was the king of an oppressed people, living under the merciless Roman occupation. They mocked him because, what kind of king bows to death? Here was a self-proclaimed king who not only accepted an unfair death sentence but willingly and humbly permitted the torture. When I think of the great warriors and kings of history – Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, the gladiator Spartacus, Genghis Khan – none approached leadership as Jesus did. As far as my limited command of history recalls, not one of the great warriors, leaders and kings of old took their army to the frontline of the battlefield and suddenly cried, “Stop!” and, “I’ll take it from here.” None turned their army back to take on …

The God of ALWAYS and NEVER

“Always” and “never” are adverbs most at home in the angst of an argument. “You NEVER help with the chores!” “You’re ALWAYS nagging!” Perhaps you’re incredibly civilised and don’t partake in domestic mud slinging, but for those of us who do, “always” and “never” conversations are commonplace. “Why do you ALWAYS say that?” “Why is it that you NEVER make time for me, but you have no end of time for your friends?” Aside from the fact that such statements are pretty much “always” untrue, they’re also pretty much “never” useful. They also demonstrate our humanity; the fact that we’re imperfect beings yearning for perfection. We are trying to fill our ALWAYS and NEVER desires with flawed people. Square peg, round hole. In reality, I can only trust the “always” and “never” conversations of one being. God. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” he promises (Hebrews 13:5). “I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” Jesus affirms again in Matthew 28:20. These are promises that no man …

You Won’t Believe How This Million-Dollar Enterprise Began…

If you were a fly on the wall of the Madwheels workshop, you would be forgiven for thinking it was all about the cars. Tools and parts are propped against walls, fluoros throw stark light on greasy workbenches and blokes in pairs or trios are bowed over the guts of vehicles that have seen better days. “People think it’s all about the cars – it’s not. We’re all about people,” one of the Madwheels founders explains. He doesn’t want to be named, but he does want people to know that Madwheels this month celebrates its 10-year anniversary and its existence brings glory to God. God who cares about people (less so about cars). Madwheels is a workshop with a twofold purpose: restoring cars to loan or give to people in need; and providing a safe place where young people wanting more than academic learning or are at risk of disengagement can work alongside volunteers and skilled mechanics, receiving restoration of a different kind through support, encouragement, education and positive role models. Back in your fly …

The Four-Word Statement That Australia Needs as its Motto

“Love Makes A Way,” their banners read. The people holding the banners are a movement of Christians fed up with the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia and are campaigning for change. Everyday people with families of their own have risked arrest to sit in the offices of politicians, staging non-violent protests to agitate for reform. They silently pray and urge compassion towards asylum seekers, lobbying for the release of the 789 children currently in detention. Why? Because they are followers of another refugee called Jesus. Because 2010 Australian of the Year professor Patrick McGorry has said that our detention centres are “factories for producing mental illness”. Because an Australian and New Zealand study of children who had been detained for more than one year revealed that 100 per cent suffered from some form of mental illness attributable to their detention. Because while others shake their heads at the complexity of the situation, shrugging ambivalent shoulders, they know that, “Love Makes A Way”. Please, Mr Abbott, can we take this four-word slogan as the battle cry of …

This Story is Designed to Burst Your Bubble

How’s your bubble today? Isn’t it lovely and shiny in here, brightly coloured and comfortable. Marvellous to float like this with all the things we hold dear bundled within the orb of our existence.  Wonderful to navigate this bubble beyond the prickly outside where some have no such skin of protection. Such a lovely bubble – see I’ll show you – I’ll shine a bit of its rainbow light on your face. Not too much now, or you might want it for yourself. I’ll just sit on a cushion, stick my fingers in my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, take a nap and wake up when all the nastiness out there is over. Life in a bubble sure is swell. Wait… do people really live like this? If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through the horrific genocide being played out on our television screens, news feeds, newspapers and whatever other way we gather information – it’s that “yes!” people really do live like this. Bubble people are happy to ignore the greater reality and they …

The Dirty 20c Piece in the Voltron Moneybox

My son inherited a Voltron moneybox from his dad.  It’s ugly as all getup, but hubby reckons it’s a collector’s item – this said while demonstrating a strange, primal connection to the faded plastic piece of, eh-hem, memorabilia. Every so often our money-obsessed three-year-old upends its contents and either makes out he’s counting the coins or acts the pirate and hides his “treasure” around the house.  In a recent attempt to avert the second outcome, I suggested he sort the coins into colours, then into sizes. It entertained him for a good 45 minutes! At one point he came to me with three 20c pieces clutched in his little hand and said, “Mummy, can I put these in the bin? They’re dirty.”  It was true. They were dirty, coated in grime of some description, tarnished, not as bright as the rest. I said to him, “They are dirty, sweetheart, but they are just as valuable as the rest.” BOOM. As the words fell out of my mouth I heard echoes of Jesus’ teachings.  I couldn’t …

What’s the Most Prevailing Fashion Accessory? (Clue: It’s an Instrument of Torture)

Isn’t it interesting the way so many people choose to wear a symbol of torturous execution as an adornment around their neck. Some go a step further and have this emblem stuck to their bumpers, hung on their wall, tattooed on their skin. The cross is a timeless fashion accessory. I wonder why the gallows and the guillotine didn’t take off in the same way for the interior design and fashion industry. I’ve yet to see someone sporting a lethal injection tattoo, a cat o’ nine tails artwork above their mantelpiece or an electric chair (in miniature) hanging from a chain around their neck. That would be macabre, in poor taste – gothic at best.  Why then, do we make an exception for the cross? Roman crucifixion, the method used for Jesus’ execution, was incredibly painful, hence the term ‘excruciating’.  Warning: if you’re sensitive around the topics of violence, mutilation and torture, I’d suggest you skip the next few paragraphs. Crucifixion was saved for the worst kinds of criminals. The criminal usually carried his cross …

“Against Medical Advice I Chose Not To Abort.” This Mum’s Story Will Bring Hope – And Tears!

Doctors are not gods.  I’ll say it again, doctors are not gods.  They get it wrong and all too often their prognosis allows no room for the extraordinary.  This was the barrier that would have prevented Chercara and Tim from raising a family of their own.  Chercara shares how faith and a deep-seated value of life raised hope in her heart, not for one miracle, but two.  A This Little Life story… “I have six children but can only hold two of them in my arms.  If I was to heed the advice of many of the doctors and nurses responsible for my antenatal care, I wouldn’t even have these, my two beautiful boys. Losing our first baby was not only one of the hardest things for me and hubby Tim to endure but it made me lose faith in the medical system. I met Tim when I was 18 – it was ‘love at first sight’.  Within a month we were dating, another month and he asked me to marry him and a month …