Posts Tagged ‘Suffering’

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Language

December 21, 2011

I love it when Clergy swear; it makes them so much more, well, human.

I don’t think I’d heard a member of clergy swear twice in one sentence until yesterday; I was in Prison, delivering Christmas Cards (as you do) with one of the Chaplains. We also wound up doing a one-to-one (or two-to-one as I was shadowing the Chaplain). We’d spent near on 40 minutes with a very anxious man, who’d not seen his family for months, because they’re all 3 hours away and they can’t afford to visit and his gran is too sick to travel that far, either. He had requested, numerous times, to ask to be transferred to a prison nearer his family (which they do), but he’s not heard anything back, which I’m sure you understand is very distressing for him. So we went to the wing office to ask if they knew anything; and the officers who spoke were being really hard on him essentially calling him a cry baby and trying to play the system (which he said he isn’t, he didn’t want to be put on an ACCT – an obs programme for vulnerable prisoners) and ‘he should have thought about that before he broke the law…’ which is understandable, but at the same time, you’d be a bit down if you’d been in prison months and heard nothing back from all the applications etc. do the prison officers have no compassion? The Chaplain and I walked out the office, down the landing, and said ‘I’m going to swear…… miserable fucking bastards!’ which kinda made me laugh out loud!

Today I was in conversation with another priest, we were discussing a recent set back of mine, (the cause of which shall remain nameless) And in response to some hurtful prose whilst also discussing a difference in culture (and sex), he referred to them with some more colourful language. And, again, I think, I laughed.

On the whole I try not to use bad language; but sometimes I think it helps just to clear the air, to let off steam and feelings about something(or one). And both occasions to which I refer in this post, were, I add, in confidential spaces; they were no prisoners in hearing distance, and the Vestry isn’t exactly consecrated ground, anyway!

N.b. I do not endorse clergy swearing.

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Free to be me

March 29, 2011

Here’s (yet) another poem on the subject of M.E.:

Free to be me

Once upon a time,
I could think of a rhyme
that was not about M.E.
rather, me.

Caught up in the fog,
left me stuck in a bog.
And I’m trapped,
trapped by the walls of M.E.

Sleepless nights
will bring me no more frights,
because of my identity
(and that’s not in M.E.)

Fighting the fatigue
that did not belong to me.

I have a retreat,
where I can hear the birds tweet,
in the sanctuary
of rest.

I’m not defined by the rain,
even when I’m dancing,
and in pain.

My identity is free;
free from M.E.
free to be me.

Free to be
the woman God called me to be;
me.

In my weakness,
the weakness of M.E.,
I had no choice
but to rely on The One you despise.

You can tear me apart,
you can wound my heart.
But you may hold me no longer;
this fight has only made me stronger.

Because He died,
He died for me.
He died so that I,
could be free.

Free, from the pain,
the rain,
of this world.
From the things that bound me
to M.E.

And I’m
Free to be
the woman God called me to be;
me.

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Protected: Well done NHS

December 3, 2010

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Superheros

December 2, 2010
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Exhaustion

November 30, 2010

12.5 hours without leaving the church building + M.E. = one crashed-out Lizzie.

Sigh.

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Catching up, God hears and answers our prayers

November 29, 2010

So, I’m in the process of catching up with life, the universe and everything. I’m trying to keep things in some sort of logical order, which to me would mean some sort of vague chronology to them.

I was about to post about Sherif and backdate it to sometime last week, when I first heard. However news has just come in that he has arrived at Heathrow this very evening.

God is good.

For more information, go to http://www.releasesherif.com/ for more details…

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We will remember them

November 13, 2010

When I was in primary school I was always so moved by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae;

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

 

I also remember so well being told the story in assembly, during the first world war, how over Christmas the Allied forces and the Germans brought a truce and played football together in no-man’s-land. I love that story. I always wished it hadn’t just been that one day. I wish it would still be now. That we could live in a world of peace and harmony.

Today, I had the privilege of serving at the Royal Albert Hall for the annual Festival of Remembrance with the Queens’ Scout Working Party. For the matinee service, myself and James (with whom I was on the Readers’ team for the National Scout Service of Queen’s Scout at St Georges’ Chapel, Windsor for the Centenary of Scouting in 2007) were wheelchair pushers, which involved meeting the less able people at the security entrances, helping them into a chair and taking them to their seats. It was really great getting to chat with some really incredible people. And helping those who’d got lost back to their coaches at the end!

In the evening, I was on duty in the Grand Tier, ‘selling’ programs. I say ‘selling’ because they were free, but a donation was requested. It was interesting, because many of the boxes are ‘owned’ by certain patrons, who host a select number of guests. And there is A LOT of money on that level! It was interesting to watch how a lot of people who came to the evening performance were there ‘to be seen to be there,’ in contrast with the sincerity of some of those who had been at the matinee.

I was stood about 6 ft away from the box David Cameron, his wife and other important people entered. It felt somewhat surreal! Ed Milliband almost pushed me over as he entered the Grand Tier – I wouldn’t have minded, but it wasn’t as if the corridor was heaving with people at that point (it was empty)! As the service began, Karen and I hung around to wait for the Queen to arrive a few minutes in to the event. A lot of the Royals were there, we counted everyone except William and Harry.

I remember watching the Festival on the television most years with my parents while growing up. I know it’s a very moving occasion. And yet, I still struggled with it’s intensity, of being in the auditorium during the service. Clapping as the Chelsea pensioners and widows etc. entered the arena just doesn’t cut it. This annual festival doesn’t pay for the loss of any person. Nothing we can do or say can ever make up for even a single life lost in conflict, however just or unjust. And that’s what I know some internationals struggle with; Remembrance Day isn’t about endorsing war or conflict, it’s about paying respect to those who have fought and given their lives for the service of others. To enable us, British citizens, to sleep safely in our beds at night.

The famous stanza from For The Fallen (1914) by Laurence Binyon left me holding back the tears.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

 

We will remember them.