I played my cards

I played my cards

I played my cards, I said. She knew what I meant.  I’d used that worldly-wise part of me.  That part which knows when you’re playing games.  That part which ill-tolerates being taken for a fool.  I’d smiled the sweetest of smiles and I’d countered his check with a checkmate. I’d enjoyed playing my cards too, truth … Continue reading

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Mary Oliver, ‘Wild Geese’ Three months ago I called this.  It would be a season of … Continue reading

A scrappy work

A scrappy work

I never was a seasoned pastor’s wife.  We were church planters and that is scrappy work. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert I always thought I’d be a terrible pastor’s wife.  I don’t fit the stereotype.  And whilst there are so many pastors’ wives out there who don’t either, you know exactly which … Continue reading

Navigating by stars?

Navigating by stars?

Not so long ago I was faced with a choice.  An attractive offer, in some senses, I suppose.  And it came with a large side order of encouragement. But I said no. I said no without needing to think.  My brain engaged only concerning how to communicate the why of this no.  How to do … Continue reading

Not gone, just moved

Not gone, just moved

This week in the classroom, I was not facilitator but participant.  Sitting with a group of my Pastoral Leaders, as I call them.  Women and men interested in leadership, whether for the sake of ministry in the church or, beyond, in the marketplace.  For five or six double sessions each year, I hand the classroom … Continue reading

Prison-barred words

Prison-barred words

The words back up.  Piling, one upon the other.  Stacking and toppling, until they are out of order, meaning tangled. Still I keep my mouth closed.  For how do I know that these words are yours and not mine?  These words which burn in my bones, taste like acid in my mouth.  Prophet or cynic?  Speaker … Continue reading

The grace of God

The grace of God

The grace of God first kills before it makes alive. How many times I have wanted to write that in five years.  To agree with those words attributed to Tom Torrance by one of his doctoral students, Ray Anderson. And yet I have not.  Because of originality.  Because of other more pressing writing.  Because I … Continue reading

Losing heart

Losing heart

We have this ministry and so we do not lose heart. We are the glory-carriers.  The ones whose eyes have been opened.  Who have seen the light which shines out of darkness.  We have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ.  And, beholding that glory, we are transformed from one degree of glory … Continue reading

I’m tired

I’m tired

I’m tired. I need to say this, though I don’t know how.  I thought I was OK but it turns out that the cost was greater than I knew.  So I see the church and, where once I knew passion which translated into tireless action, now as I dredge the depths of my heart I find nothing but a void. I need … Continue reading