Thursday, 22 May 2014

But which way do I vote?


Am I the only person wondering what sort of madness we will awaken to?  Who worries how many people will have voted for UKIP, with not really a clue of what their policies are..?

People are fed up with the Conservatives, but where are the socialists?  I never remember an opposition party that has managed to be so silent and invisible in the face of such an unpopular government.  The great socialist reformers of the past must be turning in their graves.

The sign on the wall showed me which way to go, that was the easy bit.  Knowing how to use my vote was far more complicated!

I went to vote because i believed that I should, but I found it very difficult to know how to cast my vote.  I could not vote for any party that is going to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor.  I can't vote for the Lib Dem's - they sold out.  The Greens… not a big enough voice. UKIP definitely out of the question! Leaving only the invisibles...Tough decision!

What will we awaken to?  Votes cast in fear and prejudice.
Elections 2014 - taking the great out of Britain.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Suburban Sunset

The evening was still,
with scarcely enough breeze to ruffle the washing.
It is too late,
it will not dry now,
but optimistically I had still pegged it out,
despite knowing that the evening dew
will only delay the drying process.
From the safety of their hiding places,
sparrows alternate,
between objecting to my presence,
and expressing their spontaneous joy.
Overhead insect hunting birds perform
outrageous acrobatic manoevers,
swooping and turning,
twisting and diving,
while the sky gradually darkened,
the cloudscape constantly changing,
like a huge kaleidoscope,
dark to the left and light to the right.
Heavy rainfall is due
between midnight and 9:00am,
and again later in the day.
I know how quickly the weather can change,
but as I stand in the garden, enjoying the still warmth of the evening,
I found it hard to believe that all this will change.
A list of awaiting tasks stretches out before me,
but I feel no sense of urgency to move
as I stand and watch as day
gradually gives way
to night.
For this sight
is here now,
in this moment.
Which I can either savour,
or squander.
For these moments
will not be repeated.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Keeping Schtum


Many words are written
But few you will get to see.
For I must maintain my privacy.
not to mention my dignity
and sense of anonymity.
For it just would not do for all to see
my chaotic emotionality
splurged for all to analyse
and criticise.

But wait, I hear your protestation.
What about honesty
and spiritual integrity.
Is there a sort of inevitability
A sacrificial rituality
of self, to serve
can I hold my nerve?
Or is this too absurd
to sketch out in word

Then I remember,
there is a better way,
than clutching what it would not be wise
for you to verbalise.
Take it to the cross
and don't count it loss
to lay it down at His feet
and tip toe away
before you can say
"I'll take that away
with me.."

Did you think it was a switch?
its more like an itch,
that urges you to respond,
fools, torments, deceives, 
tantalises and misleads.
Take a piece of the peace
a generous portion
and soon your emotional turmoil
will have been soothed with the oil
and purified with prayer
so rare.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Return of the Christian Aid Collectors


The most difficult part of Christian Aid week is fitting everything in, which is why we ended up collecting our envelopes at Tuesday teatime!  I have never managed to call back so early in the week before.  In the past we were discouraged from returning before the weekly payday. These days most people have to budget for the month, so that isn't really so much of a concern.

About five years ago my husband and I adopted three roads to collect in - one long and two short. This enables us to do three roads in a reasonable amount of time - 1 hour delivering, an hour and a half collecting.  We work together, alternating blocks, so we don't always get to see the same people, but hopefully people see us working our way along the street and are starting to remember us. 

Not everyone was pleased to see us, or wanted to give, and that was fine. I regard it as an excuse to knock on doors and chat with the residents and invite them to give to an excellent charity.  I had some lovely conversations and a big beaming smile of recognition from one young girl - "You're from 'Open the Book', aren't you!" she announced.  I also met some people i know. I also discovered that a member of our church lives in that road, and it was a lovely surprise when she opened her door. I love it when the different strands of life get woven together.

I was greatly encouraged by people's willingness to give, but also to give permission not to give to those who were not able to for any reason.  There is also the apparent randomness of the people you meet. Before you go, you have no idea who will be at home, and no matter how many times we went back, we would still miss some folks.  We now have a "sorry we missed you" slip, which we put through letterboxes where we got no response, at least 3 of these prompted people to call after us.

Going knocking on doors is a step of faith. You never know who is going to answer, or what they will say.  However, it is wonderful opportunity to connect with the local community, and a very positive experience.  If you get the chance, join in with Christian Aid collecting.  The time to sign up for Christian Aid week 2015, will soon be here!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Christian Aid


Years ago, a well meaning person thrust a collecting box in my hand and said, 
"Just the job for you!  
Can you collect money for the Church Army in the town centre on Saturday? 
Excellent!"  
Before I had gathered my wits enough to decline this unexpected opportunity, 
they had moved on, leaving  me with a collection tin and a feeling of impending doom.

An obedient Anglican, I duly went and stood in the town centre.  
I didn't know the charity.
The shoppers didn't know the charity.
People didn't give,
or if they did it was because they felt sorry for me.
I was a flag day failure.
I handed my pot in 
and explained I hadn't done very well.
They said that it didn't matter..
that taking part and trying was more important.
And deep inside, 
something died.
I vowed never, 
ever, 
ever 
to collect again.

A couple of years later, I tried collecting for Christian Aid, 
because I thought I should.
Some people gave.
Others were rude.
But I felt I compelled to take part.
So I knocked on the doors, 
and hoped the people would be nice,
and not blame me for their life,
the state of the world
or the disastrous government policies.

Just a few years ago
I heard someone say 
that  Christian Aid week was ONE opportunity in the year 
for Christians to knock on the front door of every home in the country.
My heart was changed.
I do not mind if they give 2p, or don't give at all.
I am knocking on their doors, 
saying hello 
and inviting them to join in with the work of the church, 
Christ's presence, 
here on earth.
I am a volunteer who understands, what they am doing,
and as I walk up each path and knock each door,
and notice how the neighbourhood has change over the year, 
I will pray for the people who live in that home, 
for it is for them, 
as well as those on the other side of the globe, 
that I am sent.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Pilchard Plot


Keep striving, 
reaching higher.
Stay up later.
Travel farther.
Push boundaries, 
to see if they will topple or s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

We watch, wonder, worry.
What do we let go, and what do we rein in?
We delight in the independence,
whilst secretly mourning the loss of dependence.

Then the day comes, when you find something carefully placed on the top shelf of a fridge/freezer.  
A shelf you don't use from choice, because it is difficult for you to reach.
The first time you assume that it is a mistake and move it lower down the fridge.
When it happens again, 
you understand the declaration of independance.
"I am using the top shelf just because I can!"
and you smile, 
because you silently rejoice in this small triumph,
and recognise the perfect placing of the pilchard pot
as another stage on the route to maturity.