Sunday, February 12, 2012

12th February

I feel cold today. Not particularly physically, though there is always going to be a suggestion of that when the weather is still rather icy. No, it’s more relational I guess, though I’m not thinking of the existing close relationships I have with family and friends. I used to love meeting new people, listening to their stories and getting to know them, at least a little. But now I just feel like locking myself away and shutting the world out, which is certainly not a good idea and not really who I am. When I was at work I had a core client group of maybe 600 households and at just about every one I would have been welcomed into the home at a moment’s notice. And I met new people almost on a daily basis. I loved that side of my work, and counted it to be a real privilege to have so many people who were not just business clients, but friends as well. Right now though I’m in danger of becoming totally reclusive. It’s so much easier to process grief when alone and my grief for sure still needs processing. But increasingly the greater challenge has to do with how I move on with my life and what direction I choose to take. If I stay home alone nothing changes, but I do feel safe and in control of my health. If I take the step of meeting new people I find the challenge of engagement rather draining. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has no obvious outward indicator, neither can the recently widowed wear a recognised sign of ongoing grief. Yet both conditions bring their own demands and inhibitions, so before long explanations are needed, and I start thinking about how much easier it is to relate to people who already know and understand.

Today I ended up in a slightly difficult conversation about my hair length. It was with a guy I’ve known for decades and he’s never seen me with such long hair. He was certainly not remotely confrontational and actually said nothing wrong, it’s just one more of those slightly difficult and rather personal areas that is hard to explain in a brief conversation. I’m not sure if I can put my finger on a single reason anyway. It just feels like the right thing to do… for a season, then I’ll probably smarten up again, act my age and all the rest of it. I quite like being different from the norm though, so let’s see.

And all through the day I’ve felt a little out of sorts, as though things aren’t working as well as they might. I slightly overslept for a start and then dithered for ages trying to decide about going to church as I’d missed the early meeting I normally attend. I could have gone to the second morning meeting which duplicates the first, but felt challenged by the Lord to visit my nearest church for a change. It’s a very different experience from my Elim church with it’s Pentecostal heritage, having a more formal evangelical flavour. Nonetheless I enjoyed the meeting. A good friend of mine normally attends and I was surprised when his wife turned up on her own. She took me aside straight away with effuse, and completely unnecessary, apologies for not phoning to let me know my friend was in hospital. He’d been admitted just a few days ago and ended up with keyhole surgery. The strong suggestion is that he should expect a diagnosis of cancer when the biopsy results surface. I hate the thought of them fighting that particular battle having been there myself. But what can you do about it? Apart from offer transport and the like… I can pray, that’s what I can do. And God still heals in the 21st Century for sure! His love for each one of us is far more than we can ever imagine. There are convicted felons on death row around the world who deserve their conviction, and I could not conceive of my own son willingly taking the place of one of those who deserve death. Yet that is exactly the kind of love that the Lord has for each one of us. Yes each and every one of us will one day die, and we all deserve that penalty for we all are inclined to wrongdoing. Be it in great measure or small is irrelevant, for not one of us can achieve the standards of perfection required to enter and enjoy the glory of heaven. So I for one will be eternally grateful that there was one perfect man, who did deserve the rewards of heaven, who chose to take my deserved punishment that I may receive his deserved reward.

Romans 8:32 ‘Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?’ (NLT)

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