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

Church

Can’t we all be united

Isn’t that just what You want?

Don’t let me be divisive

Make me patient, and patient a lot

 

Remould my heart with compassion

Cause persistence and patience and truth

To be my dominant features

Submissive and gracious as Ruth

 

Bring together all of our families

As with Ruth, You brought three to one

May we lead, submit, love and serve

As in You, when surrendered, we have done

 

We know there is change in our future

This can plainly and clearly be seen

But as for how and when and who it will be

You’ll reveal as each step becomes need

 

Cause our hearts to seek You as one people

By Your Spirit as one move ahead

In Your power and grace and provision

By one vision and purpose be lead

 

22/11/2009

Grace – A Story

As the star-netballer verbally reduced the newcomer to the conceptual size of an ant, most of the team stood silent, one or two joining in on occasion. Taunts of weak throws, missed goals and no understanding of the rules issued forth from the star-player.

The newcomer sank lower and lower in posture. She would never measure up; never belong or be valued by the other players. Though she excelled in biology, was a marvel at chemistry, and astounding with physics, she could see much joy and affection beneath the veneer of criticism in the players. She longed to be part of the fun of the game she enjoyed, and the fellowship of the team.

A tall, well-composed woman walked onto the netball court, toward the group of girls. The taunting and verbal abuse grew more and more quiet, until silent, at the approach of the woman: elegant, yet humble in appearance and manner. The browbeaten newcomer to the team remained in a subdued stance.

The woman entered the circle of girls and, taking the star and the newcomer by the hand, drew the two girls into the centre. All were silent.

The woman gently but firmly declared to the star-player all she knew of the this one’s desire to head into the field of medical research; of the expectation and push of the girl’s parents to excel in sport above all else; of her sense of insignificance within the course of her own life; and the bitterness welling up from within as a result.

The woman then softly and definitively declared the value and vital contribution the new-comer had to offer the team; her innermost desire and knowledge of interdependence, unity and teamwork; her experience, insight and understanding of healthy relationship.

In response each of the two centred girls expressed their envy, each of the other, and their desire for relationship, acceptance, mutual value and unity – to be a team.

Throughout the remaining seasons and school days this team became family. Wholly accepting of, and committed to each other. Not for the status of the team, but each one sought the best for each of the others. The result being that each one’s personal, relational and aspirational needs were met…and the team became the most admired in the district.

 

And who was the mysterious woman? As she walked from the group of girls on that day long ago, her name was sought. The most unassuming of the team members declared, “That…was Grace.”

 

28/7/2014

Gina Marie

Individuality, Originality, Eclecticism, Truth

I do believe there is absolute truth. I do not believe that I comprehend all of it, but desire to process through all thoughts, ideas, programs, systems etc. that I may come across and check them against that which I believe to be true, have observed or experienced to be true.

I am thoughtful of wanting to give credit of any thought or process etc. with its point or person of origin, but I also find as I go on that I am a complex mix of all I have listened to, observed, learned from in some way. The older I get, the more difficult it is to say where thoughts and actions had their origins. Ecclesiastes in the Bible says that their is nothing new under the sun; we ALL are a mix of where we have been, what we have heard and observed, and our own individual stamp.

I’m enjoying a re-read of “Scribbling In The Sand” by Michael Card and wanted to share a quote from a letter he sought from Harold Best.

Your work will always be “out of” what you have somehow come across and “into” what others will eventually come across.

Thus dont’ be afraid to borrow the best and grow from the borrowing…The best artists begin by being influenced and end up influencing…

It is…finding others who themselves have found others who in turn have found still others, joining humbly and hungrily with this vast community, then seeing the difference that individuality has made all around you and praying that you will end up making enough difference to warrant your citizenship in the same community.

I want to borrow from you. I hope that you will borrow from me. I will endeavour to attribute to you what I have gleaned. I hope you will attribute to me that which you have “borrowed” from me.

I desire to be part of a humble, hungry, vast, community. Ubuntu from my African friends, grounded in Samvedna from my Indian friends.

The Crocodile Farm

There once was a crocodile farm that had two swamps for the crocodiles to enjoy; one great big one, and one teeny tiny one (that a frog barely fit into).

The crocodile farmer had two beautiful crocodiles who loved to lay in the sun beside the great big swamp to get warm. When they got too warm the two beautiful crocodiles would slide down the bank and into the cool murky water to cool off.

The two beautiful crocodiles loved their great big swamp; they loved sharing it together; they loved it when visitors to the crocodile farm came to look at them from over the fence.

One morning a truck drove up to the gate in the fence, which kept the crocodiles in and the people out. The two beautiful crocodiles, lying in the sun, didn’t move, but kept watch to see what would happen.

The gate opened…and two more crocodiles were taken out of the truck and left inside the fence, with the farmer’s two beautiful crocodiles. One of the new crocodiles was very similar to the two beautiful crocodiles, almost the same size even. The other of the two new crocodiles was HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive!

The two beautiful crocodiles thought it would be great to have the HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile in their great big swamp with them. They thought that visitors to the farm would love looking at them even more with this HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile sharing their swamp.

But the first-of-the-new-crocodiles was a bit skinny. The two beautiful crocodiles thought he didn’t look strong at all and also thought it was best if this one shared the teeny tiny swamp with the frog.

The HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile enjoyed sunning himself on the bank of the great big swamp and sliding into the water when he got too warm. The two beautiful crocodiles were very glad he was in their swam, surely the visitors to the farm would love seeing two beautiful crocodiles and one HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile all together.

The first-of-the-new-crocodiles enjoyed being with the frog. They became great friends. But this crocodile couldn’t enjoy the teeny tiny swamp. There wasn’t even enough room or water for the frog and definitely not enough room or water for the crocodile. Some times the first-of-the-new-crocodiles became so hot that he got sick because he couldn’t slide into the murky water of the swamp to cool off. But the frog would sit beside him and they would share stories together about all the swamps and farms they had lived on and about their families. They were very great friends.

One day the crocodile farmer brought some visitors to look over the fence at his crocodiles. The visitors watched the two beautiful crocodiles and the HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile sunning themselves on the bank and sliding into the murky water. These three crocodiles heard them saying how much they liked being able to see them there.

Not many visitors looked over the fence at the first-of-the-new-crocodiles and the frog. But they were happy being friends and the first-of-the-new-crocodiles began to sing while the frog jumped a dance to his song.

When the visitors to the farm heard the first-of-the-new-crocodiles sing they moved to his end of the fence to listen. They loved hearing the song and watching the frog dance.

After the farmer and the visitors left, the two beautiful crocodiles had a think.

They thought that the visitors liked seeing that they were beautiful; and seeing the HUGE! ENORMOUS! Very Impressive! crocodile; and enjoyed hearing the first-of-the-new-crocodiles’ song; and were amused watching the frog dance.

So, the crocodiles and the frog all decided that they would share the great big swamp because they each were special – beautiful, HUGE!, musical and funny.

They all became friends and they all had visitors come to see and hear them at the crocodile farm. Which made the farmer very pleased.

 

6/7/2014

James 1:1-13

Gina Marie

 

 

Shared and Sharing Experience

I have just listened to Wes Moore speak at TED on how to talk to veterans about their wars. 

His comments directed my thoughts to other individuals and groups whose communities and families may or may not approach them, or may unintentionally offend or wound through ignorance.

Social media and other communication mediums are replete with those who have endured war, abuse, rape, disability, pain, physical and mental illness, job-loss, moral and financial bankruptcy, child-loss, widow-hood (I could go on), all looking for others who have shared in a similar experience and/or a place to be heard and valued.

My simple hope is that we each would take an interest and the time to discover what another’s experience has been like, and share our own experiences so that someone else may not feel alone in theirs. Talking about our lives is healthy for the speaker, the listener and our social connections. Not talking, asking or listening only breeds our sense of isolation, negative identity assumptions (of ourselves and others), and disconnection from each other when we all have a desire to belong – somewhere.