Tag Archives: love

Wanted

4 Oct

In all this looking for a job business that I am doing lately…

YES! I submitted! A month and a half ago now, and the results were in last week! Woot!

But we digress, in all this looking for a job business that I am doing lately, one of the many things that have dawned on me is this: I want to be wanted…

You know? I think that’s a craving we all have – it’s perhaps part of Pascal’s God-shaped vacuum. It reminds me of Romans 8:19. We want to be wanted – by people, by a husband or wife, by family, by friends. There is joy in being missed, there is gladness in being wanted enough for people to make an effort to have you.

And recently, I’ve been lacking that feeling on a very human level in my life maybe because I’m missing family. I read this recently from Kent Hansen’s devotionals on the CS Lewis blog.

If we are seeking our life or vindication from another human being, we have lost our way.

It is God who ultimately satisfies. So if I’m poor and live in a cardboard box with no one to love me – no, I’m exaggerating – then joy does not depend on my lack of concrete wall. The thing is there are people who live in cardboard boxes or nearly and still keep the faith. I know this – I’ve looked into their eyes and talked to them.

And my craving for love, for recognition, approval, erm recruitment – these only become an emotional thing when I forget to see the face of my Father.

God’s got it covered

17 Apr

Rejection, betrayal are the two greatest fears women have. And you have had to deal with both. So many women can identify with you, including me (Let’s have coffee one day and I’ll spill the beans) But this didn’t sneak up on God; He has a plan for your future – I am living proof.

That’s a comment I read on a blog post over at (in)Courage. And it fell into place for me today.

At the moment, what’s on is probably what most other people might not recognise as major in my life. But everyone near me and/or who hear my daily outpourings are generally bringing me flowers and chocolate and little notes. My colleagues too – and one of them has had to go be with her family in London. The rest of us don’t have that luxury. But we get chocolates and visits and all that.

Oxford exams are really that big. Exams generally are a pretty big deal, being Asian and all…

Digression: In some parts of Asia, the suicide rates spike up in April and I have research to prove it. Still, taking as I do, my identity in Christ rather than cultural boundaries, I’m very grateful for my relationship with him and with the family I do have!

In addition though, I’ve had a student affairs spike. I’ve also had to negotiate a petty crime, and its fallout in the community. Plus a couple of personal hiccups as you’ve probably figured from that last post of mine 😉 For the record though, I haven’t had personal betrayal – no, not that.

And yesterday, God gave me a much-needed ‘moment’. I called a friend and prayed with her. And she kinda demurred at the prayer… This is a friend with whom I went to church, and we’ve been to a fairly charismatic (you know, pentecostal but not Pentecostal and a fairly traditional Anglican/Presbyterian church together. We’ve been in small group together. We’ve known each other for nearly seven years now. We’ve travelled together, visited each other’s homes. Um, you would assume that we’d be free to pray with each other. But I knew that she wouldn’t actually be so free to pray out loud, even with her family. She told me yesterday that I was important to her and the least she could do is take a day off and buy me lunch – in another city! I’d depend on her to listen in my horrible moments too. But all of this friendship-boasting to show that – no, it wasn’t the easiest thing to pray together.

But hey, I was feeling pretty selfish. So I got online, grabbed a hold of her and said she had to pray with me. That she had to try, and that doing it out loud was a token to ME not even to God, and that He knew her silent prayer but I didn’t. I was at a point of need. So could we please do that? You know – you get the point. I repeat myself generally, but I think this time you got it.

I wanted her to be there and.to.pray.with.me. It wasn’t a major thing. But it was something I didn’t want to do without – the beauty of communion and shared love for Jesus, the vocalising of trust in His provision.

Still I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I thought she’d stumble and pray but she’d pray and I’d have my… silly little token.

Actually, she didn’t stumble. I prayed. She prayed.

Then she said this:

I think you’ll appreciate a random of sequence of events without which this might not have happened.

And the story was this. Over the weekend, her boyfriend had told her she needed to practice to pray out loud. I mean – we all know she doesn’t. We all know she loves God. So then she was amused and didn’t understand and she probably rolled her eyes at the boy. But he made her practice AND pray about it and then said ‘You never know when you might need it.’

And there I was the next day – I wouldn’t have really grabbed a hold of anyone else, and said friend might well have said no, if she hadn’t been made to think about it and consider it necessary. And God showed her how he’d got me covered. And he showed me how he’d got her covered.

And that brings me back to that comment. While facing rejection, fearing it, or uncertainty or betrayal or hurt or simply even just the unknown – I’ve got to know this…

It didn’t sneak up on God.

And now, I’m sitting here thinking how un-random life is in some ways. How very God-like life plays itself out. And how, in a time I needed Him, He put a hand on my shoulder and said ‘I’m watching. I’ve got you covered.’

Shoqed.

All other ground…

14 Apr

Muddy Waters are Distracting

In everything that flows,

melts, melds into liquid

cocktail mockers, I am

that stone

the river flows over

around,

touching, flirting

with what is left

above ground.

I forget

the ground

immovable holds me still.

April, foolishness and Spring

7 Apr

TS Eliot – April is the cruellest month.


I’ve been thinking about this line over and over. When I was little (er, yes, vague literary references floated through my head when I was little and it probably made me a strange kid…) – anyway, when I was little, I used to think that meant that is was because of Good Friday.

And I struggled with that interpretation because was it a cruel thing to put him on the cross? The pain was cruel, but God was just. Is. Right?

But I’ve decided that April is the cruellest month because it reminds us of that sacrifice that, in so many hearts, goes unheeded. It is one thing to preach hellfire and damnation. But it is another to recognise rejected Father love. One screeches ‘Save yourself!’ The other whispers ‘Take My love’.

In Eliot’s time, it painted a picture of Modernism’s rather wholesale herdish rejection of Love.

‘April is the cruellest month’ because it brings the promise of Spring but there is NO resurrection within the world of the poem. It’s a disconnected, broken poem in form and content… The pictures are dry, dead summer and winter that hints at life. It teases about life but finds no fruition…
Our existence is fragmented without our knowledge of the reality of the cross and that is what the world has turned away from.
Palm Sunday fell on April Fools day this year. God chose a donkey to ride in on when Israel finally hailed him as king – the foolish things of the world and the weak to put to shame the mighty.
The foolishness of the cross is crazy, public love. He was looking at you on that cross. You.
When he said it was finished, when he said ‘Father, forgive’. His eyes never left your face.
Are you looking at Him? The crazy, foolhardiness of that radical act of love, of winning his bride – the foolishness of the cross – is its wisdom. What do we count foolish and what do we count wise?
It’s not quite a joke though – the cross. This – okay, this religion if you will, that people mock. Are we falling for the wrong joke?
Happy Good Friday and Holy Saturday, you.

Songs in the night

3 Apr

It’s one of those days. I bet you want to stop reading now… 😉 But it’s one of those days I really want to hold on to someone and cry. And no, I promise it’s not because I am just being a bundle of moodiness.

 

Work has been crazy – I am responsible for a community house of students at Oxford. And it’s been a pretty horrible day for the community with some serious letting down the side.

My supervisor emailed and asked me for more work tomorrow.

I am scared of all the things that are coming up in my life that I cannot predict and, for the most part, cannot help. Read visas and job applications.

Tomorrow we have a ‘community meeting’ to discuss this troublesome thing in the house that I wish I could tell you about, so you could be my collective, virtual someones to hold and cry!

And I am in the midst of a lot of personal upheaval involving someone quite close to me.

Aaaaahhh and the exams are closer.

 

 

But here is what I know:

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?

Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.

Whether morning dawns or evening fades as it is now, O Lord, you are he who calls forth songs of praise. (Psalm 65: 8)

Trust.

29 Mar

Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.

It’s like my mantra now.

I wish I could draw because:Image

 

 

Ok, I might be able to handle that. But er…

 

Image

Unconditional trust.

How to get work done – fall in love

26 Mar

I was listening to this video on friendship with God and he quotes someone else (whom I had to look up and found was influenced by the 24/7 movement), who says “lovers will always get more work done than workers.”

You tap into something else when you have the complete, total love of someone. When they have yours. You’ll make things happen, you’ll follow, you’ll lead, you’ll make time for them, and for the things on their heart – if you have to lose sleep, lose everything else. You’ll do it. No?

My students are always good examples because they’re the people I live with 🙂 They’ll be up at 5 am in the morning after a 2 am goodnight from writing a paper. I see them toiling on their work and then suddenly a couple of them – not all, but the ones who are in committed relationships and miss-miss-miss their girlfriend or boyfriend. I’ll hear them outside my hallway again for a quiet spot to talk to the one person they wouldn’t miss for anything.

The thing is God means so much more.

Doesn’t he?

Shouldn’t he?

I don’t know, but I’ve shortened prayer time so often. I’ve slept instead of staying up and praying. Not even one hour. And I’ve always known it is wrong – that the first thing to be taken for granted, the first thing to be cut in on is the thing I love more than life itself.

Is this what happens to relationships even if it should not? You’re in love for about three months – depending on who you are, you stay in love for about a couple of years… Because that was how I was for years after being saved. And then you love but you’re not quite a lover anymore? You haven’t tapped into the intensity the speaker talks about.

You’re on track, you’re doing the things you have to do… You take the garbage out, you give a goodnight kiss, you hold the door but – you wouldn’t give anything up for it. You wouldn’t let yourself get uncomfortable. You’ve never denied love or lost it but your serving the other is a little… off the map, shall we say? My last post is part of all this thinking on the subject… As you can see, I fail.

I don’t know how grace extends to me but it does. And I know that I have never stopped loving and can only be more and more shocked and blessed that God loves me, and how. And yet – I easily forget falling out of my comfort zone into his arms. Feeling his presence for the first time. Knowing that there is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep this. Knowing there is nothing I could do.

And knowing that he could. He wanted to. And there was nothing he wouldn’t do.

Communication in the Bible

22 Mar

I’m trying to find what the Bible says on communication.

I know the emphasis on being slow to anger, and gentle in response to a tell-off. All of that. But I’m looking specifically for how to be open, how to talk to each other, social norms.

I know I’m kinda shooting myself in the foot here. The Bible doesn’t do ‘social norms’. It merely says Be imitators of God.

But if you have an idea of what the Bible might say for how to un-hurt a friend (small or big!), how to be genuine in your care for the other in the way that you talk to them…

We have common sense. Here’s some of mine:

Listen to people. Really listen to them.

Honour their commitment.

Be grateful that they want to spend time with you.

Consider their emotions, anticipate their feelings.

Look for detail – in their reactions and in yours!

And there’s a lot online about how to be friends, how to be a couple, how to be leaders… Especially a lot on dating and marriage from the Christian net circles 😉 Like:

Loving one’s spouse according to the Scriptures involves four elements: 1. A genuine care and concern resulting in self-sacrificial attitudes and actions to meet the needs of your spouse 2. A commitment to fulfill your God-ordained marriage responsibility to your wife or husband 3. A romantic and sexual desire and attraction 4. A commitment to separate oneself from others of the opposite sex for exclusive and permanent romantic and physical intimacy. 

– Ron Jones at the Titus Institute.

But remind me of your favourite verses in the Bible that deal with those things? Or stories in the Bible that allow us to “be imitators”? All those relationships, please! Thanks!

Still crazy

20 Mar

Sometimes I leave home and there is this funny feeling that I’ve forgotten something.

And it’s really hard to put my finger on what. So I walk through the hallway a couple of times, trying different doors, looking busy. When I’m struggling to remember, I can’t really do much else.

I forgot something today.


I forgot about being in love. Like – if someone asked you – you couldn’t really find a moment in your day when you haven’t been thinking about him. Checking your phone, checking your latest letter. I forget how perfectly he understands and I know it when we’re together. How my heart slumps down in relief like a body after a marathon because I know he’s got me covered.

You know when people are in love. Right? And I flatter myself I can tell when it’s real.

And I wonder if they hear it – this sigh of relief when I’m home not because I have a comfy, worn down, old armchair, or because I have my mug and coffee, or even murukku in it. But because I can hear his voice over my shoulder, by my side, and it doesn’t startle me. It’s old, familiar, loved.

It’s gentle.

A while ago, I wrote this and it turned out to be my most popular post. I called it crazy that I forget about this man who would and did give his life for me, this God who gave me life. I forget.

What makes me cry?

Looking at love.

Becoming Like

20 Mar

According to this thing, I’m kinda like Belle, Jasmine and/or Quasimodo. Hmmm, I can see some of that.

But who wouldn’t see themselves in Disney heroes and heroines? Plus it’s funny categorising people. I am a weird mix. I say the most boring things. Sometimes I get quite academic. Other times… well, I get involved in my students’ heated MBTI and Disney arguments. I mean this can all happen in the space of an hour. My blog, for instance, is a random collection of heart-moments.

And God keeps a track of it all. I’ve lost track.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how good God is to me in recovering the messes I make. And I make so many.

I sleep in when I should be working. I forget to say kind words. I complain about the things I ought to be grateful for.

And I don’t always stop to say thank you. I don’t always stop to ask him what he wants.

And God doesn’t complain. Not once.

I hope to be kinda like him instead.

%d bloggers like this: