Tag Archives: hope

The secret to peace

My daughter is for ever telling on her older brother for is apparent wrongs, no matter how minor, sometimes she will even throw something at him if he annoys her a lot!

When your wronged what would you like to do to the person who hurt you? Seek revenge or seek to forgive? Which I wonder is harder the latter of the former, which brings the most rewards, the most peace, but also perhaps is the most costly?

The act of forgiveness doesn’t so much affect the perpetrator. It doesn’t mean they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions or live with their guilt.

Forgiveness releases the victim, brings healing to the one who has been wronged. Forgiveness gives us a choice, to draw a line in the metaphorical sand of experiences. To say to ourselves I will not let him or the situation define me, shape me, cripple me more than it has. I will not let it break me more than it looks like it has done.

So should we forgive someone’s involvement in the the pain of another or indeed ourselves? Not that we allow them to reoffend, but set them and us free to flourish rather than be rooted by the ball and chain of guilt, shame and the realities of there crimes and our sense of victimisation.

There may be situations in our lives that have needed a serious effort to forgive. Not just once or twice, but every day. I find I can’t do this on my own, but Jesus helps me, to such a point that forgiveness over a long period becomes a habit, a line in the sand which I don’t step over, and god stands with me on that line. However if I or we step over into the darkness beyond the line, Jesus takes our hand and gently leads me back to the light.

Forgiveness isn’t cheap, nor is it easy, but it is a journey worth traveling as the best journeys often are. Forgivness enabled Nelson Mandela to work with his former white oppressors, it helped Martin Luther king push the agenda of racial equality. There are so many other examples, and when we look at the issues of Syria, or Ukraine, with the unwillingness to forgive, leads to the hell confusion and human degeneration we see on our TV screens. The unwillingness to forgive in Northern Ireland challenges the future of the peace process. A lack of forgiveness challenges our ability yours and mine to receive healing and move forward free people.

This day this moment, ask the Lord to help you begin the road to forgiveness and ultimately your personal peace and salvation.

 

 

 

Love Outrageously…

POPE FRANCIS' Blesses

It is sometimes difficult to see, hear, let alone feel Gods presence, when so many seem just fine without him. Even my 8-year-old announced the other day that he didn’t believe in God anymore, because “he didn’t answer his prayers.” What can I say to that?

Yet then I see the picture of the Pope blessing a man with a facial deformity and that is (rightly) lauded as a selfless act, or find inspiration from reading about the late Father Reid who prayed over a dead British soldier in the midst of the Northern Ireland troubles. Or a more recent example, seeing the news headlines about Church of England Bishops banding together with others to protest on behalf of the impoverished poor in our society.  Woven into the tapestry of these news stories and many others beside are acts of selflessness, righteous protest, and expressions of love, within them I somehow see God at work.

It is in this manner of living that we live up to our Godly calling which in its most simplistic way is to love people and love God the same. My heart is gladdened at so many occurrences of expressions of love by those of faith and none. Though I do long for the day that the source of that love might be known, by even more. That I and they might be renewed by its transformative power, overturning the tables on injustice and intolerance.

lastly I was a youth worker some years ago, I took some teenagers to a car park and gave them some money and told them to find a ticket booth and pay for the tickets of all who came to it, telling them that it was a random act of kindness from the church. It went really well and at the end of the few hours we were there, and as it began to rain, a women wound down her window as she drove towards me and paused to hand me an umbrella, telling me “this is my act of kindness to you.” Just imagine what this world would look like if we loved and lived with loving generosity with others, whoever they might be.

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An Alien In My Head!!

I watched the film “Host” yesterday, which is a film about an alien invasion, where humanity is pretty much wiped out. The aliens take over by inhabiting our bodies. They control our bodies, but our consciousness remains mostly subdued, enter our heroine who fights back, against the alien entity! However the inhabitation results in world peace, an end to poverty and global warming! Bear with with me, my non sci-fi friends.

The movie, got me thinking about the nature of freedom, which is often perceived as a fight against all kinds oppression be that political, military and perhaps when we are younger our parents will, and lastly maybe in the future aliens. (Sorry last mention of aliens, promise lol)

I wondered if I would share my body with an entity, that would ultimately make me safe when walking down a dark alley, which would allow me to fully trust my fellow human being, rather than being sceptical, and wondering if I was being tricked in some way.

Perhaps you are shouting at the screen right now, there is no reason I would share my head space with another being, even if that resulted in some kind of utopia, my freedom doesn’t have a price. I felt that too. And then realised whether it is that reaction that underpins, how many react to God.

A God who Christian’s believe fills us with his presence, and his word, and guides us. After all scripture reminds us we are temples of the Holy Spirit. You will have noticed however, that having Gods presence inside us, hasn’t lead to world peace, a uniformity of faith, theology or Christian living; issues around sex and gender are just examples of this.

Why might we fight for freedom or so called, because we want to be free to choose our way, subsequently many have thrown off this God based perceived shackle God can offer us a different kind of freedom, a freedom in relationship with God, a big picture freedom, of blue sky’s and neighbourly love, and eternity. Is that not worth giving up a bit of our choice, our freedom for? Instead of fighting, listening to what God is saying to us as he speaks to us through the natural and manmade things in our lives, calling to us in a cacophony of ways.

Lord God may for today I choose not my desires but yours, even if they seem strange to me, for you are a God who calls me to love self as you see me, and others as much as you love me.

Amen


ps thank you for all your likes on my recent
Posts on Easter weekend, the character introduced you too their will return!

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