Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

Real community

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Fear, Oh dear
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The other day, I did something really stupid. I dropped a blackboard on my foot. It hurt. Kind of. But I was talking to someone and didn’t want to look like a wuss so I didn’t say anything. I walked to my car, put the board in before looking down in case I was bleeding.

The lump on my foot was enormous. I went straight to find help from someone, quietly putting my hand on their shoulder and asking them to have a look. No fuss. The trouble is, by then I was feeling very sick and wobbly. Because when you don’t say ouch, apparently, your body forces you to take notice in other ways.

A trip to A and E and then later on a fracture clinic has led to a diagnosis of severe soft tissue damage. Two weeks later I’m still on crutches and wearing a Darth Vader boot each time I go out. And I still can’t carry anything around the house unless I either crawl or can put it in a shoulder bag.

The thing is, I’m the world’s worst at asking for help. I just don’t do it. I want to manage by myself, especially now as I’m not in so much pain. I feel like a total idiot going round Tescos in a wheelchair or not even being able to make my lunch. It’s frustrating. And I didn’t realise how ashamed and vulnerable I would feel about displaying the contents of my mostly empty fridge to the world. Yes, apparently I do each a lot of mouldy cheese sandwiches and chocolate biscuits. I didn’t realise that either before.

But yesterday, someone came and demonstrated church community to me. They not only took me round Tescos in that wheelchair, but then took me home, made my lunch, and cleaned my bathroom for me. Then they came and got me to give me dinner and company at their house that evening. And it’s not the first time either.

I’m just so grateful to be part of a community that cares. That makes sure people in need are looked after. It’s not always perfect, and it doesn’t always happen, but it is a shadow of the Kingdom of God breaking through in our world.

The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.

And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.

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Today I shared my testimony with a fairly large group of friends. For the first time in a big group setting, it was unedited, uncut and unabridged. What really happened. Even the bits that are really quite embarrassing or simply just painful.

I felt as if I was laying myself bare. I’m quite happy to share my testimony normally, unless I don’t want to make myself too vulnerable with someone (mostly a pride issue with people I don’t like or don’t trust), but I haven’t really had the courage to share the story of abuse with many people.

Someone warned me afterwards to make sure I didn’t always share to that depth as it could leave me very vulnerable. But then it had been my decision to share what I did, and I don’t think I regret it.

Somehow I want to be able to be vulnerable to people, but work out how to do it without being hurt in the process. Being as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves is coming to mind, in the words of Jesus to his disciples. Something to think about, anyway.

a green eyed monster

Posted: November 15, 2012 in body stuff, Fear
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I have a friend who seems to have it all. A husband. A house. A baby. She’s totally gorgeous, even remaining radiant throughout pregnancy. She gets good grades. Everyone likes her.

Sometimes that hasn’t been enough for her. Sometimes she has wanted more. She has wanted the things that I have also wanted, and because people like her, often she has got them. Or so it seems.

Not only am I totally jealous, but also insecure about it. So, she is my friend. But because everyone likes her, it feels like everyone else is also in the friendship, in a kind of ten-in-the-bed way that pushes someone out. Somehow, that someone ends up being me.

Sometimes this makes me so angry. Sometimes I wonder what the friendship is really worth if it can be so easily pushed aside, or whether a friendship should be able to be more than one way. But that anger takes me to a dark place.

Yes. Sometimes, my friend could have treated me better, I’m not going to deny it. But then, and more often, I’m ready to admit, it is the state of my own heart that is the problem. Firstly, every time that I compare myself to my friend I’m completely ignoring my own place as a child of God, crafted in His image. And quite frankly, its not surprising that I don’t look beautiful if I’m thinking terrible thoughts. Secondly, I’m totally missing all the good things that are in me, that make me individual.

But even that isn’t enough. These are the cliches that apply to everyone. When our friendship is there, it is a GOOD thing, for both of us. Being under constant attack is undermining that, and also my relationship with everyone else at the same time. Rather than constantly worrying about who I am and whether people like me or not (as that is really what it boils down to) I need to focus on who God is and how I can be more like Jesus.

When my eyes are focussed on God, then, not only will the Attacker have failed in his mission to ruin a good friendship, but also he will have failed to separate me from the love of God. Bonus.

 

Under the broom tree

Posted: July 28, 2012 in Fear, Hope
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I have been reading a bit about Elijah recently. From the high of Mount Carmel he sank to the low of solitude under a bush in the desert, afraid and suicidal. Some people make a lot of the fact that he has forgotten God’s glory manifested on the mountain (see 1 Kings 18), and that he is wading in a mire of self pity. But I prefer to think of Elijah as overwhelmed, and depressed. He is clearly looking at the world through the wrong lens.

Yes, in some way, he has just been on that mountain top. But that didn’t mean that all his problems disappeared, and that Jezebel no longer wanted to kill him. The strain of the incident must have worn him down, until he could take no more, and then he just runs.

Basically, he fell into the trap that we can all fall into so easily. He got hungry (why the angel of the Lord gave him food), angry with the prophets of Baal, lonely (he thought he was the only person left who worshipped Yahweh), and tired. Fatal in his mind. So he prayed that the Lord would take away his life.

Luckily for us and him, that was not a prayer that God answered. He provided through food and water, and an experience that he would never forget.

So even heroes struggle sometimes. Even heroes get depressed and can’t see a way out of their problems.

But thankfully God can. And he does.

Yesterday I saw someone who had something white stuck in her hair. As soon as I spotted it, I couldn’t look away. I was curious as to whether it was the latest trend, bird poo, or simply a mistake.

When I got an opportunity, I took her aside and said something. It turned out to be hair wax, that just hadn’t been rubbed in properly. Better than bird poo. And less smelly.

But I was thinking about it. Would I have been embarassed, had that been me having walked around all morning with something so obvious and no one saying anything? Or would I have been more embarassed to have been taken aside?

I remember coming out of the loos once with my skirt tucked into my knickers, and when one of my friends pulled it down again and pointed our that my bum was on show, feeling hideously embarassed.

But don’t we just have to laugh these things off, like the lady did for me? Something to to with growing a thick skin. And not turning in on myself when I get the first opportunity.

But seriously, why do birds like pooing on people?

Mind the gap…

Posted: March 4, 2012 in A little about me, Fear
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Yesterday I had to travel through London going from the train to a coach and then back again later in the day. The second journey was reminiscent of the Japanese metro where they have to employ people to push people into the carriages so that the trains can still run. As there were lots of engineering works going on, and it was early evening,my return journey was busy.

I like my personal space. Just putting it out there. In fact I really don’t like being touched unless I know and like the person, and even then if i’m particularly tense it doesn’t really work and I try to move away from them. So, crowded tube is a form of nightmare.

First I was crushed against the couple engaged in the romantic pash. What a way to feel like a third wheel. Then there were the people who just pushed me around everywhere. Then someone else was completely unaware that everytime they turned round, their bag was getting me in the face.

And it was at that point that I realised that I was moving away from these people in advance of their getting anywhere near me. I don’t really even know what I was afraid of, apart from the possible lack of deodrant. I’m just glad that I don’t live in London and have to do that all the time.