Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faded and neglected

Walking home this afternoon, I noticed how overgrown our local creek is. It is completely obscured by weeds which are flourishing this spring. The parts where the water is visible are filled with rubbish (our kids have previously counted four discarded shopping trolleys, an old bike and a plastic rocking horse, not to mention general refuse).

Everything I looked at seemed to be overgrown, uncared for or just faded. I was momentarily overcome by decrepitude. It was reality breaking through my rose-coloured glasses.

I like where I live, and appreciate its green semi-ruralness. I am surprised how easily I can block out ugliness and neglect. There are just brief times when I see clearly. When I realise that there is so much that I could be doing to improve life.

There are two things that I can do in response to this. Too often I do the first - feel overwhelmed and paralysed and not change anything. The second is to pray, because I feel helpless.

I need to pray more for this place. The neglected landscape reflects the neglected, lost people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An ordinary week

Memorable moments for this week...

When asked to say what he loves about his dad, in a church vox pop on Sunday, our 3 year old answered, 'I love my dad because he beats me up.'
Not much to say in response to that one...

Being given 2 slow cookers for my birthday. (I'm already a bit of a leisurely dinner maker, but this will be ridiculous.) Oh, the pressure of being asked 'What would you like for your birthday?'

Our church prayer meeting.

Reading Isaiah 51:7-8

“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong
you who cherish my law in your hearts.
Do not be afraid of people’s scorn,
nor fear their insults.
8 For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing.
The worm will eat at them as it eats wool.
But my righteousness will last forever.
My salvation will continue from generation to generation.”

There are so many things I do not say, about right and wrong and God's law, because I fear scorn or insults (or even that people might not like me). Sharp as a two-edged sword for me.

Watching Costa's Garden Odyssey (my new favourite TV show). I learnt what a permablitz is and wondered again if the creator of the universe would rate a mention in the 'Zen Shed' segment (garden spirituality). I don't think He's enough.
Costa's beard is incredible, but he spoke to a Sikh banana and blueberry farmer from Woolgoolga who matched it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feeling helpless...

Around me, things go wrong that I cannot fix. My friend's father dies during a time when my friend and his wife are already dealing with significant loss in their lives. Someone in our community struggles with finding out their son has been sexually abused. Sick people cannot manage to live the lives they would like to, and labour under constant, chronic pain.

I wonder why some people carry such heavy burdens. Why others can seem blessed in every aspect of their lives. I cannot frame an answer that truly satisfies.

I pray irregularly and unsystematically about these things. I am so human in my lack of faith, lack of compassion and lack of perserverence. Even though I feel helpless to change things, I still cling desperately to thoughts of what I can do.

I long for a day when helplessness and sadness about the state of the world drive me desperately to prayer.

Help me Lord, to remember that you are here.
Help me see you as you weep with the hurting.
Help me ask you to change things and to bring your kingdom.
Help me to trust you.
Help me to accept my own helplessness and let you work through me.
Help me to believe that you are powerful to help.

My current dialectic -
"I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief." Mark 9:24