Friday, May 27, 2011

Not-so-good vibrations

Just around the corner from our temporary office stood a beautiful old house. It still stood when I went past at 8:30 this morning.
All day my desk was continually vibrating, sometimes quite strongly. There were a couple of good jolts too. Yet the geonet drums stayed quiet. My nerves were frazzled and my concentration shot. One part of my brain had to keep telling the more instinctive part that it was only "deconstruction".
When I biked past again on the way home tonight this was all that was left. A story that will repeat itself far too much across this city in the near future.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

RiseUp Telethon to raise funds for Christchurch Earthquake Recovery

I would like to recommend to you all to visit the RiseUp Telethon online and support our recovery in Christchurch.

Your support from around the world is appreciated.

Kia Kaha.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Best laid plans

The plan was for me to spend some time this evening writing a blog post then some household bill payments.
The line from Robbie Burns about the best laid plans of mice and men comes to mind.
I'm blaming the magnitude 5.3 shake up we had at 3am this morning.
The hard part of trying to get on with recovering from am earthquake (compared with other types of natural disasters) is how long it keeps on going. And going. For months. Maybe more than a year. Just as I start to feel like I'm making progress at getting on with life yet another big aftershock sends my "alarm monkey" into overdrive and I'm three steps back again.
So this evening's plan now includes chocolate and a dressing gown and a cat and writing this post on my cellphone while turning off my brain in front of tv. And the post I intended to work on will wait for another day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two copper coins

Over Easter weekend I found myself reading a lot of beautifully written Christian blogs, reflecting on different aspects of Good Friday and Easter.  One or two of them were meaningful and inspiring posts reflecting deeply on profound passages of scripture, but were so beautifully written that I came away feeling more discouraged than encouraged by them.  I could never achieve that level of closeness to God, or depth of spirituality. 

I know I’m not being fair on these writers.  I have no doubts about the sincerity of their faith.  They probably just don’t write about the less spiritual parts of their lives.

I wrote last year about trying to find a deeper faith.  But reality falls far short of that goal. 

I awake in the morning with the best of intentions, and on Good Days I even fit in a prayer time between my shower and breakfast.  (The Not-So-Good Days seem to be the majority.) I go through each day mostly just thinking about the task in front of me – family, work, household chores.  I get to the end of the day, bundle the children into bed and crash onto the sofa with my laptop and relax by surfing online until the screen starts to get hazy.  If I’m not too tired, and it’s a Good Day I might even write a bit in my journal before turning out the light.  On the whole, I don’t feel very spiritual most of the time.

As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve realised I need to stop comparing my faith with others. 

 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. … 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:20-22, New International Version, ©2011)

All I can be responsible for is me, and my own response to God.  I can only write about the journey as I find it. 

The reality is this: on the Good Days when I do make the time to pray, it is worth the effort.  I’m not saying anything miraculous happens.  I don’t “sense the presence of God” in any way, or “hear His voice” or even “receive a revelation from scripture”.  But it makes a difference to me that I’ve stilled myself down to reflect and listen.

I’ve been looking back to where I was at a few days after the earthquake, the prayer I prayed then was:

Here I am, Lord. 
I am wounded and broken, my spirit is raw and bleeding. 
My hands and heart are empty, I have nothing to offer, nothing to give. 
But I am here.CopperCoin 015a

The wounded and broken feelings are healing, but I still feel like I have  nothing to offer.  I offer who I am, and it doesn’t seem very much.  It’s like I’ve only got two copper coins, compared to the many rich gifts of others.

But I am here.  And this is my offering.