Shepherding

Crisp and clear, morning begins.

As light becomes all encompassing, the fiery glow on increasing cloud…recedes.

The morning will be fresh, if not a little heavy, foretelling of an over-shadow later in the day.

The sheep must be moved on; this temporary shelter – house of sticks – will not suffice as the sun moves across the sky, the cloud and all its company rolling in.

A rousing call, tap a few tails with a crooks end, perhaps a flap of the arms now and then…they’re up and on the move.

They’ll need nourishment early; storms may rumble in sooner rather than later. Well-fed sheep will be better able to ride out storms later on.

A graze in this fresh green gully; water the flock down below; shelter from inclement weather amongst established trees, enclosed within the secure boundary of a holding yard.

Yet holding yards, shelter and nourishment alone are not enough. Keep watch! Alert to risk and danger; ready and willing to act, to rescue, to protect.

Gates and fences blow over, are damaged by falling limbs, rushing waters…the onslaught of varied weather – predictable and temperamental; and the passing of time – worn and weathered, weary of bearing weight and strain.

Wild animals will seek prey; there are those who would take the flock for their own.

The Chief Shepherd, possessor and nurturer of this flock watches and enables the under-shepherds to fulfill the call to care, attend, cultivate, keep and cherish.

These ones know the voice, direction and undertaking of their Shepherd. They respond well when they perceive his influence in and amongst us.

So, a crook to keep within safe boundaries.

An eye out for fields of nourishment.

Safe spaces for rest and refreshment.

Wisdom, strength, compassion and the will to fight off those who would steal and destroy.

And when some are lost, taken, devoured, appeal to and rest in the Great Shepherd…who saw their wanderings, observed our distraction, allowed and curtailed the thief and false shepherd, and will pursue them and us in justice, mercy and all that is good, pure, right and lovely.

Gina Marie 21/7/2015

The Tree

A tree stood outside of the village.

Few noticed the tree as they went about the business of their days and nights.

But of those few who saw the tree, and stepped aside from the road to look closer, none would remain as they once were.

All who came to the tree saw their names carved into the timber.

All who kneeled before the tree and reached out to touch and own that they recognized their own name on this tree, grateful that they were named there, found they were washed by the tree’s life-blood, till they were clothed anew, white like light.

By this light were these few of the few given to see their gifts beneath the tree – once again, named with their own name.

Of these few clothed in white light, some would never open their gifts, some would open, but never use that contained within.

But a few of these few would receive, open, and use their own named gifts. They would provide for each other by use of these gifts. They would provide for those whose gifts remained unopened or unused. They would even provide for the passers-by, on the road and in the village.

As these few, of the few, of the few accessed and used their gifts, their gifts increased in depth and beauty and strength – and the few grew themselves, in strength, beauty, joy, insight and peace – their light shone brighter with every use of their gifts.

And those who came to the tree, saw their name engraved there, but would not acknowledge it as their own, nor embrace the tree and its gifts with gratefulness, wandered endlessly.

Unsettled in the village, unsettled on the road, and resentful of the tree…

…The tree stood outside of the village, off the oft-travelled road, but high and lifted up on the hill…

the bestower of life, gifts, restoration and purpose.

22/5/2015

The Tree

 

Life

My beginning was first breath from You

Existence, ne’er before been hewn

But love and grace and choice make new

A life that You have given

 

Rebellion was of all my choosing

But choice from You was all redemption

Beaten, lonely, scorned and bleeding

Your life that you have given

 

Accepted, chosen loved and wanted

Washed by blood, my purchase granted

Belonging, living, free, untainted

New life that You have given

 

Free to live in joy unending

Peace and purpose all Your sending

Sing Your praise, all are bending

This life, we have been given

14/5/2015

Love Your Neighbour As Yourself

I have been pondering a thought about ‘loving one’s neighbour as one’s self’.

Jesus said that if the Supreme Authoritative Deity is our own, we hold to Him, then He would be so much to us; completeness; our whole heart, soul and mind. He said that subsequent to that, we would in a similar manner view others as we do ourselves.

My thought is this:

Do we usually presume to have a similar whole, complete fondness for ourselves and are therefore being forced to feel the same way toward those within our spheres…

…or is it just a fact that we will ‘love’ others as we love ourselves (or not love ourselves, as the case may be)?

Is it a natural progression that if I am ashamed of myself, I will subsequently shame others?

If I loathe myself, I will subsequently loathe others?

If I hate myself, I will subsequently hate others?

If I don’t forgive myself, I will subsequently be unforgiving toward others?

If I pass judgement on myself, I will subsequently be judgemental of others?

Etcetera.

Further to this:

If my relationship to the Supreme Authoritative Deity of merciful justice, loving compassion and sacrificial provision is not one of love in wholeness, will my relationship with others be likewise – without love in wholeness?

I will endeavour to love my Designer, Creator and Restorer as He loves me. I will likewise endeavour to love myself as He loves me. I believe I will more naturally love you, similarly, as a result.

Please accept this as my love commitment to us.

Sustainer

Crouched, huddled, humbled

Cowering in grief and loneliness

Hunched over, enveloped in darkness

Afraid, ashamed and alone;

Albeit desirous of great comfort, forgiveness, connection,

Emancipation, peace, deliverance

 

And yet, I hear a voice.

Soothing, inaudible – yet not.

Distinct, definitive, refreshing

Dare I turn?

Dare I look upward?

Dare I risk vulnerability?

Light?

 

I must!

I can no longer live in fear and uncertainty.

This is not living.

 

Rolling, unraveling

Standing, turning, reaching

The Voice is Light, and Rock, and Mountain Height

Where the eagle rests,

Out of reach of any who would prevail in the valley

 

Still the voice calls.

I am drawn, but I cannot reach.

I whisper.

I breathe afresh

Deeply, drawing in refreshment

Expelling all that would hinder

 

I call aloud to the Voice, the Rock, the Height above all.

Desperate, pleading, repenting of all that has been my own;

All that has left me entailed to the dark of fear and shame

 

I am lifted up,

On eagle wings,

To lofty peak,

In crevice rest.

Above

Beyond

Safe

Free

Untouchable by darkness

I see the Light shine on me.

Unhindered view

The warmth of wings – of comfort

The security of Rock – fortress

 

I sleep in peace

Nourishment is sweet

No fear of abandonment

The Voice, ever present

 

Only when He has prepared me

Shall we go on from here

Together

One

The Sustainer and the sustained

 

6/3/2015