Monday, September 27, 2010

Jesus Van Gogh

I've been sitting in the "Bucket" a lot lately (see for further explanation) and I have to admit that it's quite nice to be out there alone, in the dark, staring up at the moon and the stars. It gives me that quiet time that busy mothers crave and sets the cogs in my brain turning. I think God really is clever. I also think he's a bit arty farty. That old hymn with the words: "Hands that flung stars into space..." rolls around in my head. It all sounds so easy for Him, a bit like a child scattering a some glitter onto a collage. Child's play. The hymn goes on to mention how those same powerful hands succommed to having nails driven through them, which sets me thinking on a whole other tangent. But for now I'll focus on how clever God is to put all those planets and stars in the right place and the skill it must have involved to get everything just right on each of their surfaces.  Looking up at the moon on a clear night (in otherwords, when it's not raining and I'm not sitting in the "bucket" holding a sheet of polystyrene over my head - which wasn't too bright because Beloved found the evidence of little beads of polystyrene in the water, threatening to block the filters)...looking up at the moon, I can sometimes see that crooked face that started the legend of the moon being its own person. God's being a bit frivolous with his sense of humour there I think. It looks like a cartoon.

Wow. It's all so big! All those stars, the sun, the moon, the Milky Way, black starts to blow my mind a little. And what if there really ARE other civilizations out there? That's something I don't get because if there were, would they be completely perfect and without sin, or would God have to send His son to their home planets as well to live among them, die on their behalf and be resurrected so that they can also commune with Him? That's a huge question that makes my head explode so I try not to dwell on that one too much. If it is true, I bet Jesus might be starting to get a bit fed up with it all and wondering exactly how many times He has to keep doing this:

That is, unless the other planets have been a little more welcoming than ours was:

 It does make me think that whatever is going on "out there" must make God really busy! And then I go and iterrupt Him with my silly ramblings about what's going on in my tiny little life.

But wait! God is infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent and a lot of other powerful omni-stuff! The hands that flung stars into space formed me in secret when I was just a twinkle in my mother's eye. He made this:

(I'm not really sure what a pituitary gland actually does but I've heard it's something very, very important even though it's very, very tiny)

And he made this:
That's a strand of human hair and evidently God has counted each and every one of them on each and every one of our heads (I don't suppose mine looks quite like this one any more though because I've turned it to cotton wool with all the chemicals I've slapped on there).

I think God is very clever and very very artistic...and I don't think He's too busy for little me at all :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Got beef with God?

There's been a lot of talk about natural disasters here in New Zealand and we've all been checking our emergency survival kits and water supplies. My daughter is in Christchurch and I don't appreciate that Mother Nature is still rattling my baby with her aftershocks. I really should get CYFs onto it because these days everyone should know that you should never, ever shake a baby - especially mine.

When it first happened our country was amazed that there were no fatalities. If the 7.1 upheaval had occurred just a few hours later, New Zealand would have been a nation in grief.  Although it later transpired that a woman had suffered a fatal heart attack during the initial quake, the fact that the loss of life is so minimal is phenomenal. Miraculous even.  I don't know about all the other mums and dads out there who were relieved that they still had their children to post presents to at Christmas time, but I got on my knees and gave a big thumbs up to my Majestic Bestie.

Not everyone shared my gratitude. It wasn't long before comments began to appear on public internet pages, pointing the finger at God Himself.  Apparantly He was solely responsible for bringing about the destruction to one of our biggest cities, causing countless families to be homeless and penniless. He also caused starvation in India and the war in the Middle East.  Folk were pretty ticked off about it too and wanted to let the good Lord and all His believers know it. Some God of love He turned out to be.
Good for them I say! God's made a few comments in His memoirs about wanting people to be either hot or cold towards Him. He's a passionate Guy and doesn't go for any of this wishy-washy, tepid, new-agey stuff. He'd rather watch a dog eat its own vomit than have people pussy-foot around His feelings.

I've been mad with God before. I've been mad with my Beloved and my kids and even my dog. I have a real relationship with all these characters which is probably why it's such a roller coaster ride sometimes. I wear my heart on my sleeve, which means they know when I'm happy, scared, sad...the dog is slightly more aware than Beloved but he's getting there.

I reckon it's okay to let the ones who love you know how you're feeling. There's no point trying to hide it. So be angry with God if you need to be. To be honest, I have no idea why God "allows suffering" but one thing I do know is that He's neither delicate nor fragile so He can handle your anger.  Shake your fists at him, stamp your feet and have a tantie if you must, just be sure that you COMMUNICATE with Him.

But like any great relationship, just don't stay mad - He doesn't.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shaken but not stirred

It’s been quite a week in this little country of ours. Firstly there were dramas on the home front. I can’t give too much away when other people could be at risk but let’s just say I’m going to have to retouch those grey roots on my Beloved’s head, and quite possibly my own.

Another thing that did set us off onto a bit of a tizz was an e-mail from our social worker explaining that “whanau” (meaning family) had come forward and will “care for the boys”. We’ve had our fosties with us for a year and the thought of sending them back into circumstances that had generated so much hurt in their lives was enough to rip my nighty. We got some prayer warriors onto immediate sentry duty while a few phone calls and e-mails were made. There were some who even prayed without even knowing exactly what they were praying for. Isn’t it cool when people are prepared to do that? And even more impressive considering that whole nail gun thing a couple of weeks ago.  I’m pleased to report that we’ve since heard that the situation has been downgraded to allowing their birth mother to have supervised access with the boys on a fortnightly basis. Watch this space...

Having settled our nerves after a worrisome week, we were able to cosy up for a peaceful night’s sleep. That plan worked well until I was woken by a text message at 5:15am yesterda: “Hiya, how r u? We had an earthquake and aftershocks”. When you’re half asleep a message like that doesn’t quite register so I snuggled back under the covers and closed my eyes while my brain attempted to unscramble what was happening as the worlds of slumber and reality collided.  Umm..better just check that again.  It was a message from my 22 y/o daughter in Christchurch who had been woken by the earth shaking when her drawers collapsed and smashed her TV. I woke up real quick!  When we spoke to her she sounded dazed - even more so than usual - the ground was still splitting around her but she was safe. 

I think God had a whole lot of ear bending sent His way yesterday. Not just from me this time, but from an entire nation. This quake was big and I’m delighted to say that He was paying attention. Mother Nature had let her kids out of control and South Canterbury was getting stomped all over. Yet not one person was killed. Only two serious injuries were reported and those guys seem to be pulling through. The structural damage has been phenomenal and my baby is now living in a disaster zone. It could have been the darkest day in New Zealand’s history but for today I’ll rejoice that my baby is alive and well and has enough bottled water to see her through for the next few days. Speaking of which, I’ve just refilled my own 24 litres with fresh water and a teensy bit of bleach - just in case.

It seems to me that somewhere along the line, shattering experiences can bring out the best in a few people. Like this guy who opened his corner shop really early so that he could give away supplies to needy people:

Anyway, today I’m giving a big thumbs up to my Majestic Bestie for keeping our loved ones safe, both locally and at the other end of our special little country. And also to John Key, our Prime Minister, who was on a flight to Christchurch the same day to walk around the city and see what needs to be done...and to our engineer friend who flew down yesterday to work voluntarily help assess the damage...”Shot Guys!”