‘ A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies and her husband has full confidence in her.’ A cry from the Proverbs of the Hebrew Old Testament for all times. And for today .
The death of Jo Cox is an immense tragedy for her husband and family. She was the mother of two small children and the gaping hole left in that family is all the more tragic when we dare to think of their future without her. We want them to be able to grieve with privacy, but so many of us want to hug them and just say, ” We are with you.” That is why the streets in in Batley were full yesterday. Humanity seeks to gather in tragedy. Seeks to comfort our neighbour;strangers and friends.
So the question is not if we knew Jo Cox or had met her, but rather how can we huddle together and try to patch up the hole she has left? How do we huddle to make sense of her death … and of her killer? How do we deal with a member of our humanity who brutally lashes out and kills a wife of noble character more precious than rubies?
But wait, we are not remembering just now the doing, we are remembering who Jo Cox was. (We can’t even bear to hear the word ‘was’instead of ‘is.’)This is about being. A human being. .and our being human. We don’t do noble character, we don’t do being. We are. And this public grief is about ‘who are we ?’ We urgently need to model a noble character as individuals and for society.
The description of a wife of noble character is from the thirty first chapter of proverbs in the Old Testament wisdom books. Just before this description is the exhortation to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights for all those who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly ,defend the rights of the poor and needy ‘
Is this the response we have to Jo Cox’s death? As we grapple with immigration, integration, terrorism and fear? Speak up . Speak up for those who cannot help themselves. If we do this we follow not only the character of Jo Cox, but we can echo the teachings of Jesus to be an advocate for the poor and needy. With him as our bedrock and source of our strength . Jo Cox as a great pioneering example, we can seek to build a country of noble character; a better world of noble character.
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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Eveyone has their temperature taken on arriving at Entebbe.The nurses all wearing masks.Ebola may not be far away ,but the risk is low .There are other common illnesses that do change nations demographics still. And unnecessarily. Unfair for those who suffer. Often a result of haphazard neglect of educating about simple preventative measures. And inadequate provision.
Is it a scandal that the world has neglected adequate toilet and drainage and handwashing facilities for so many? Is it not an animal instinct to have a clean nest as a priority? The twenty first century sees mobile network providers being far more savvy at marketing than sewer manufacturers or toilet makers.It must be one of the biggest untapped markets .( no pun intended) Please,if you are a toilet manufacturer or economist or WHO person ,please can you tell me why the neglect. Don’t say money ….why the low low priority? Don’t say ignorance … We have had the information for 150 years ..
I have a lot to be thankful for. I am taking a spell of unpaid leave and my colleagues are very happy for me. Which is not a given. I thank them for being so supportive.
It has caused me to reflect on the need for change , the different ways it is embraced and how it is sought out , if at all. I, more than most , perhaps , love the warmth of bed and sleep and often struggle to lift myself from its comfort. Sleepy,idle or not keen on the disruption, getting out of bed has to be done. I have even been trained to do it at very inconvenient hours. Not in a formal way as such, with advice on how best to do it , but with the shrill urgent call of a bleep calling to whatever emergency a delivery suite or neonatal unit or casualty department has to offer.
Kreislaufstoerung is a wonderful German word. Getting out from the horizontal to the vertical , to the safe to the urgent , to the known to the unknown is uncomfortable .It is also invigorating , stimulating and raises the heart beat to a new awareness of surroundings and new possibilities of being . We are created to explore and seek
So the first irritation of change can be welcomed but if we find that a struggle, a planned timetable for change can be sought out.Repeat this a few times in life and a new understanding of surroundings builds up . An new awareness of the other ways and a new resolve that flexibility can be exciting and not a threat. And this is why a period of prolonged leave can enhance an individual’s well being . It can enhance an organisation and community too.
Thank you Spectrum Wakefield for allowing me change .
( and I shall have to be changing my blog’s strap line very shortly )