Let there be Light

And there was darkness over the face of the deep…
And there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour..

Light is sometimes seen by planners  as an incidental and in our world we manage darkness. Not a huge amount of  thought or care is given to those who work in artificial light all day.I think you’ll know the low ceiling offices with no natural light or the clinic rooms in the centre of a building where staff have burrowed . Modern architects have begun to see the wellbeing benefits of natural light , but old buildings abound and the worker consumes the electricity whether day or night. Remember the tube drivers, miners,divers,submarine sailors….
I am a natural daylight lover. I like to see the sun. I like daylight. Artificial light is not a preferred option. Overhead sun is a good medicine with sensitive protection. We are creatures drawn to light.

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Overhead sun.. Can't quite photograph with no shadow

So today Europe shall be reminded of what losing the sun in daytime is like and we are prodded into thankfulness for our amazing universe.We can remember our striving for shining light on our lives.We can be thankful for the light of the world.Then as sun is resurrected out of shadow we can echo

” Let there be light ”

http:// http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/whh/paintings/low1.jpg

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Period of Grace

Eight weeks in  Uganda definitely showed the kindness, gentleness and hospitality of strangers. The reliability of the acquaintances and the sacrificial nature of those called family in faith.

Home now and the graciousness of those who stayed here is very apparent. The greetings of family, friends and colleagues are  very special and very warming. To be loved is so very special and heightened, at times of return,  to levels that are theoretically known but too often cringed away from.What is it with so much of our culture that encourages shrivelled displays of emotions ? A false modesty that hides the  free expression of love,joy,hope, faith and even,happiness. A type of pride dressed up as carefully  managed humility but leaking drops of falsehood and pretence  saying that we are above the need for such deep comfort.  Is this the politeness we crave?  Why does the loud boast slide away to  to be managed?  Who is responsible for envy?  and who for the vanity of the blogger? Are some legitimate  joys and gifts  kicked into that  muddled puddle of false humility ? 

But I need to share the period of grace of a returnee. There is so much blesssing with gestures of kindness, cooking, household stuff and meal sharing. I am blessed by indulgent listeners and  kindness of colleagues, gifts and flowers, cards and patience. I want to share these generous times. There are so many acts of confident kindness. It  is a sadness that English labels this as ‘spoiling’.
Humankind has been given a gift of community and programmed to love our neighbour as ourselves. We so often see the severely fractured behaviours of humans  reported,even applauded or dangled at us for sick amusement.

So I shall tell the story of having treats and having things done for me, for being allowed gently back to the full flow of work. I tell it as a joyful time of re entry, a time of people  being kind and generous, a time for those who  obey Jesus’ words to love our neighbour as ourselves and I’m happy to be that neighbour whether in Uganda or UK.We can all show fractured behaviour, not one of us without wrongdoing, but it is very very special to open our eyes, mind and heart and  to see that love of Jesus mirrored by so many of.his forgiven followers around and about.There is so much more story to tell  about that  and so much more to this greater period of grace. We have freedom to open our eyes hearts and minds to the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Truly a period of grace to enjoy.

Home Help

 I am home now and shall be blogging a  few thoughts in the next day or two . 

In the meantime , would you consider a donation to help the centre in Uganda house its students in a more comfortable dormitory . Read the need here .   Thank you   . Any amount will be gratefully appreciated . https://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/new-dormitory-for-school-children-/322669

Dawn musings at Schiphol

Compare and Contrast.

Uganda versus Schiphol.

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 ( pretty dirty windows here at Schiphol )

1. Food. Enough versus Too much.
2. Eating. At mealtimes v Snack snacking
3.Food. Fresh v Factory
4.Eating. Never on the move v Eat as you can
5.Size. Trim v (quick survey of 30) 35% Fat
6.Ethnic diversity. Limited v Everyone
7.Books. Expensive v very affordable
8.Water for washing. Pouring cool  v Piped hot or cold.
9.Temperture 34 degrees v 1 degree
10.Dust. DUST  v  Dysoned.( excluding my shoes)
10.Service. Very welcoming v Friendly

Time to get to gate D6

Signs of the Times

The walk home in the heat and dust has become routine .All sorts of once strange things are familiar .The herd of cattle with their enormous horns tended by the young guys.The jack fruit stall ,the rubbish, goats hens and piglets .

Wait,the tiny piglets are now independent and the goat has now kids.The toddler is coming fowards down the stairs and the papya are ripe .The optimism of the dusty trees has been rewarded  by rain .The leaves are greener and the blossoms are out.
But most poignant of all is the departure of the swallows three days ago.On their way, heading over the huge desert to Europe .The flowers are blooming there too and it’s time to follow and greet the spring.
Thank you,all my new friends and acquaintances and your beautiful country
Time has gone and the refrain for the small children’s “see you” is silenced today out of a sad respect for departure ./em>

But hopefully Uganda …”See You.”
And a definite “See you,UK .I am on my way.”http:// http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Uganda,_Land_of_Beauty

Praising in Papyrus

Uganda has a great deal to offer the world and my wish is that the world would listen to the Ugandan melodies.
Melodies of culture, courtesy,medicine, courage.Generosity, patience (but not fast enough) hope,love and faith. And the  rarer irritants that go deep deep deep, metamorphose to training tools and transform.

The  church of England offers training for lay ministry and time for reflection outside the usual.Uganda is a few thousand miles outside the usual but I owe huge thanks to my mentors of vision whose gaze reaches beyond a diocese in order to help the diocese. A reader in the church doesn’t just read and the Christian gospel is not geographically bound.

The church I am attached to knows how to praise, it knows how to suffer and it knows how to fight with the  gentleness of Christ. It is hard to know each tiny drop that makes the flood, but each plays it’s part. It is humbling and empowering

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to visit the papyrus reed churches,the church meeting under a tree and the new churches starting.

And the opportunity is great to meet and talk with all the variety of humankind that is offered. From being given the pulpit on International Women’s Day, to the counselling of children,from the pulpit on Ugandan TV to helping the sick children and their parents privilege is too small a word.

So sharing belief is a great unifier of values and desires, direction and understanding. Ugandan fellow followers of Christ teaching me and shining as bright stars with his love in this world.

Catching an evening

Just waiting, just waiting.The sun is dropping quickly in the sky,  the dusk will come and suddenly the darkness.  This is the time  when the edge of the sun’s power is slightly chipped away.The rinsing of sticky hands and face can be a little less frequent. The light slants and shadows appear.
In the town, the pace of traffic slows and the pace of people powers up the commerce. It’s a time of special change in an evening hour. I love it, but today it’s just a little bit more precious.

The air is gently moving as it cools slowly by ten degrees or so. 34 degrees to 24. Maybe it will dip to 22 tonight with slight dew fall in the morning. But the air is restful as it slightly rustles the leaves.It’s cooling is gentle and relaxing and a longing to live longer in this hairdryer warm world stirs.Mindfulness of moments is acute tonight.

The dogs bark backwards and forwards and the cockrel mutters a quiet goodnight. The loudspeakers in town a mile away are background beat and the frogs croak in the ditch. Crickets fidget in unity and the silent lizard scales the wall.

Power is solar tonight and water is a little bit short.The cooking develops on the outdoor stove and the toddler gives exhaustion cries.

The food is delicious and everyone is sleepy. The call of the lead singer rouses the household to evening prayer and the melodies of praise gently envelop the house and all who dwell here.

I don’t want the intrusion of a mosquito net but spray it anyway and surrender to it’s protection. Did I remember my anti malarial today?

And now, passed midnight this world is quieter and the evening flight to Europe, I assume, has flown overhead as the lone reminder of air travel.

Time to sleep before the jolt of tomorrow.

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