Okay, so I’ve failed to write in my personal journal since 25th May when I was busy packing my glad rags into my suitcase for a long-awaited visit to see our son in Prague on 27th.
I had been filled with trepidation about the chaos reported at UK airports but needn’t have worried because, prior to our arrival at Leeds/Bradford Airport, there had been a fire alarm evacuation and the coast had cleared for queueing. Our experience was hassle-free with a 5-minute bag drop wait and a 5-minute security queue wait. We had ample leisure time to make the most of what was on offer inside the airport before the gate opened for our flight.
In my opinion this has to be a world record!
Home again now, feeling relaxed and happy, the angst I felt leading up to the holiday forgotten, apart from the ever-present concern in relation to the state of the world and its peoples age-old good versus evil battle.
There’s not much I can actually do to resolve the conflicts of inclusivity in today’s world (apart from ensuring my own little corner is compliant) except hope and pray for change. Acknowledging that we belong to one another would be a good start.
As humans, we seem to have forgotten this.
I find more and more I am turning to the comfort of poetic thought. Rhyming poetry is finding it’s place in my heart these days as it offers a rhythm that soothes my soul somehow yet my personal choice when writing poetry is more prosaic in nature.
Before the end of May turned swiftly into June, I was contemplating this offering from Patience Strong’s Thoughts for Every Day, written for 30th May, which must have lodged itself into my brain to influence this current blog post somewhat.
Living the Big Way Live in the big way, the way that Christ taught. Big in your judgements, your outlook, your thought… Generous, tolerant, thinking no ill. Lavish in charity, rich in good will. Stoop not to pettiness, things mean and small. Live in a big world – there’s room for us all. Cast off your grievances, start out anew. Live life the big way, and take the broad view.
This fit nicely into our visit to the Lennon Wall in Prague which lends itself to inclusivity.
In front of the wall was a display of collective poetry and prayer for the Ukraine written by visitors from all over the world, full of heart-breaking yet heart-warming words of support in the midst of the tragic Ukraine/Russian war.
It made for quite an emotional read. I was lost for words to write anything worthwhile to add to the wall but these were my thoughts as I sat by the river on the way back to the hotel. It’s a work in progress.
In the city of a thousand spheres, a million lonely voices sing out their souls from words written on a wall - a wall of peace and love. Words written in the midst of war’s hostility state that 'Love is all we need to live in perfect harmony.' The soulful prayers and poems displayed show support for all mankind, for as Ukraine fights for peace and love to keep their promised land, they’re not just fighting for themselves, they fight for so much more. They’re fighting too for me and you in the threat of nuclear war. As Russia bombs and shells their homes yet still cries out for more, I imagine there’s no Heaven – that this Hell is it forevermore.
I offer the words displayed at the wall and my thoughts as a prayer of intercession for God to soften hardened hearts and believe that love really is all we need.
Talking of love.
On spending time with our son this holiday, after an absence of 2 ½ years, it felt like only yesterday we had been together. It brought to mind a nostalgic piece I wrote when he first left home… a long time ago.
Dandelions The dandelions are dead. Pressed between the pages and lodged inside life’s book. I’ll never see their yellow heads sun-dance in the rain, nor will I see the smile light up your eyes again. Yet I still count the ‘one-o’clocks’ when the wind cracks its whip across a cobwebbed storm and I remember the time you picked dandelions.
Playing its part in soothing the savage beast, for me, is reading my daily devotional from UCB’s Word for Today. I find each day fits perfectly with what’s going on for me and it keeps me walking forward with faith on the narrow path. The reading for 13th June tells me that ‘the wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive’ (Proverbs 16:21NLT).
‘You can’t go wrong with somebody who’s hurting by simply showing up, giving them a hug, letting them know you care and that you’re praying for them. It may be clichéd, but it’s still true: people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. You don’t demonstrate the love of God by being pushy, opinionated and acting like a know-it-all. You only do so by being ‘peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, (and) full of mercy’ (James 3:17.NASB).’
If that doesn’t confirm that love really is all we need, I don’t know what does.
With love for the Journey,