Thursday, January 28, 2010

papered synapses

I work in a nursing home.

This job, in the almost two months that I've had casual work there, has been baffling, challenging, incredible.

- I've held an ancient woman's hand as she trembled and vomited from seizure.

- I've philosophized over the incredible and amazing behaviour of the very elderly; the people group largely hidden from most youth.

- I've been on my hands and knees, showering a woman who had spent the night on the cold floor in her own waste.

I can't believe elderly people! They are like babies. Except, older.

They like attention, and will use crocodile tears to gain it. They (mostly) crave physical attention...hugs, cuddles, etc. - which wears me out after a nine hour shift.

One woman has been the exception to this. She is blind, and very, very proud. I liked her a lot at first, but after a series of negative conversations, I'm finding it harder.

I entered her room, and humming, set about getting her clothes ready.

Me: How are you going today?

She: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Me:(puzzled by question)I'm not sure. But I'd love to do something where I could love and help people.

She: (pauses) Well, you'll never make it as a nurse.

Me: (stunned) Why would you say that?

She: Because you sing, and you ask silly questions.

I began to silently cry...mainly because I was tired, and also because when you try hard and try and try and try, and get nowhere...or a kick in the ain't exactly uplifting.

I'm so often hungry for validation. But instead of going to the One who's validation matters, I chase after people.
"Validate me! Assure me I'm worth something. Assure me I'm not just a waste of space!"

I don't want to spend my last years in a nursing home, walking around in living death. My soul crawls at the very idea. I want to bring life to this job. I'm trying really hard to always be a kind face, and a gentle and encouraging word to the residents. I want to bring Life wherever I go. But not my own fake life, God's Life, God's Love. It's a remarkable opportunity, to train, and earn, and learn to persevere, and to love the lonely.

just some thoughts....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Matthew 3: 7- 12 - it's about your heart not your family tree-

Matthew 3: 7-12

Many people come down to the river to be dunked, and in between splashes, John catches sight of the Religious and Political leaders coming down to see what was going on.

John doesn't drag out the camping chairs and offer the esky full of Icey-Cold Ones around. His reception was somewhat less welcoming...

"Brood of snakes! What do you think you're doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It's your life that must change, not your skin! And don't think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it's deadwood, it goes on the fire.

11-12"I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I'm a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." (The Message)

It's funny he calls them 'snakes'. I mean, these guys were the scholars. They wrote the books on religion. The Old Testament was memorized by them. The first mention of a snake...well if you can remember it, you'll realise he wasn't complimenting them on their cunning.

It seems the Leaders thought that their lineage got them into God's good books no matter what their thoughts and attitudes were. John threw that idea out.

It's about your heart, not your family tree.

John also mentions the Band who he is opening for..."I'm baptising everyone so that your hearts will be right towards God. But coming up more powerful - and great...I couldn't even carry his Crocs...He's the Real Deal.... He'll baptise you with the Living Presence of God, God who is a Consuming Fire. He will clear up who is God's...and who is not!"

These passages whet your appetite for the upcoming Event. They seem to splash paint onto a canvas and reveal the outlines of a picture. A picture that makes you gasp, and look closer. There's more to be revealed...