when words are not enough, and too much

Words are a double edged sword. Sometimes, oftentimes in prayer, I’m finding them to be both inadequate (not enough) and also surplus to requirement. Especially in the light of the unimaginable terror and shocking deaths brought about by a suicide bomb attack in Manchester this week. Ironically, what attacks like this generate is words. Words of…

shedding negativity the mindful way

We’ve all met a negative person, and perhaps afterwards felt their negativity linger like a bad smell or a button that’s too tight around the throat. People can become negative in the face of stress or obstacles, of course, but for all those who allow themselves to become negative, there are those who maintain positivity in the…

I have heard you calling in the night

Interesting how the word vocation is used in daily life. We identify vocational qualifications, but they’re normally specifically practical; plumbers and electricians, for instance. We perhaps think of teaching and nursing as ‘vocations’, but what else? And in the Church of England we have Vocation to publicly recognised ministry – hence Readers, Deacons, Priests and…

from hope to disappointment and back again

A poignant phrase in today’s gospel from Luke’s Emmaus Road account – ‘We had hoped…’ We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They could possibly be the saddest three words in the bible. We had hoped… We’re all living with our ‘had hoped’s’. We had hoped for a securer future financially……

good friday baby

In the year 2000, Good Friday fell on 21st April. I know that because I had a baby that day. I was booked in to be induced at 37 weeks because I had suffered a still birth the year before, the baby’s heartbeat unaccountably ceasing at 33 weeks. Pregnancy was now very stressful. Fearing the worst…

and let us not think of chocolate

‘…and let us not think of chocolate…’ So ended a short heartfelt prayer read by a small boy, in a recent primary school service I attended as schools broke up this week for Easter. Obviously well trained in the ‘Easter is not about chocolate’ school of prayer, his words expressed the kind of religious schizophrenia that…

unloading the rucksack of emotional baggage

If you’ve ever returned from the shops with a rucksack on your back, full of food and other purchases, you’ll know how heavy it can feel, chafing on your shoulders and neck, and how glad you are to empty it out onto the kitchen work top on arriving home. It normally takes wisdom in middle…

mothering sunday creed

I believe in mothers. I believe in mothers who watched the appearance of the thin blue line with longing. I believe in mothers who watched for it with dread. I believe in mothers whose hair became thick and sumptuous. I believe in mothers whose hair fell out. I believe in mothers who wore jeans till…