Categories
angels gender

Does The Gender of Angels Matter?

Take at sunrise on the Hill of Tara St Patrick’s day 2016. A sun angel

My lovely young youth group and I were looking at Angels in the Bible the other Sunday evening and wondering about what gender they were or if they were any gender at all.

The story of when the angels visit Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, which is often used as one of the key stories to condemn homosexuality doesn’t make sense when looked at regarding gender. So the angels turn up, the men of the town want to have sex with them, Lot is says No but then offers his daughters. Now surely if these men of the town were homosexual being offered women wouldn’t quite hit the mark for them. So I wondered if this story was being used out of context, like too often happens???

The vicar who supports me with this youth group said that he thought that the original languages didn’t have genders and that these came in with Latin translations. But he couldn’t remember for sure.

The two things that struck me were that

One we are now obsessed with gender with there being numerous different gender types that people can identify with. Is this a throw back to things like this? Things like when it was important for spiritual beings like Angels and God to be defined by a gender, by a certain sex?

Two that biblical angels were powerful, strong, mighty warriors, faithful messengers, obedient. All traits that are often associated with men. Not so long back women were seen as weak, easily manipulated, unfaithful, disobedient, needing protection.

So I do wonder if those in the Church who wanted power made sure that all the traits to aspire to were “male”, so both Angels and God had to be male. Also I do wonder if our obsession with the myriad of different genders is because we are searching to get back to that place where people were people and gender didn’t matter, but because there is such a strong emphasis on the male/female divide that for now there has to be these other things to identify with.

Imagine if we didn’t care about gender, if we just let people be as they are – strong/weak, faithful/unfaithful, able to protect/needing protection, etc etc. What would it be like if no one worried if you were male, female, trans, queer, asexual, and more? I wonder if we could all live much more at peace with ourselves then too.

So reread some of those stories and try not to see the Angels as male and see how you get on

Categories
Inner Healing Pruning

Pruning

Look closely by the hedge and you can see my drastically pruned rose bushes.

I was pruning my roses this morning and got thinking of how pruning roses is like healing. At first there is a bundle of vicious stems with dead flowers on the end, but as we work through them it is easier to see where to cut and also how to get the stems out without being hurt too much. But then every so often there, as the rose bush being comes more sparse, a thorn gets us without being prepared for it.

I was more careful with the bush that has loads of little spikes on it than the one with sparsely placed larger thorns. And yet it was the larger thorns that caused more damage to my hands then the little ones because I was not taking so much notice. Again I think a great analogy with healing. We can often be more careful with the issues we think are going to be painful and then get side-winded by the ones that we thought would be easy to deal with.

So I would say to anyone who is starting on the journey of dealing with their trauma, issues, hurts and pains, that to being with it will be hard, and you will get side-winded at times when you thought you could deal with this, but it does get easier as time goes on.

Also come the summer, because I have pruned now, I will have a lovely flowering of the most gorgeous roses. I am noticing as I do more QEC, both with my practitioner and on my own, the “flowers” that are blooming in my “garden” are so much better than the ones I had without the pruning.

Oh and another analogy – I didn’t plant the roses in my garden. They were planted by the previous occupiers, or even before them. Lots of the traumas and issues we have to deal with are not necessarily ones we planted but were planted by our parents, by their parents into their soil, by people who passed through our early lives, things that happened to us. But it is us that have to deal with them now so our garden grows more fully.

The tools are in our “sheds”. We can do this.

Categories
2020 vision strikes

Strikes Take Planning

https://www.nationalworld.com/news/uk/strike-uk-winter-updating-list-dates-royal-mail-rmt-nhs-3926988

I didn’t realise how much work goes into organising strike action. A friend of mine is a teacher and she, along with her colleagues, has spent a lot of time working out how to make this strike both noticeable but also so that the pupils don’t suffer too much. It turns out this is what happens with all those who are striking, they all work hard to make sure there is maximum notice with minimum harm to those they chose to serve. And the problem is that the media is not reporting this. They are only reporting the disruptions and those who are complaining.

But unfortunately most people only find out about things from the snippet of news they read or hear. Then they moan about what is going on. And this means that once again the government has won.

I support the strikes that are going on in Britain totally. I think systems in this country are falling apart. And if one listens properly to those striking it is not just about a decent wage but about better conditions for not just the workers but those they serve.

Interestingly back in January 2020 I wrote a piece, along with many others about gaining 2020 vision. I believe this is part of this. These things that are being highlighted have been issues for way too long. Covid got in the way and sidelined things a bit, but a lot of the problems were there long beforehand. Lockdowns have just exasperated things.

I really believe we are getting what we prayed for, but we need to sit down, listen quietly to God and not just restart or even refresh things, but tear them down and start again. There needs to be leaders in place who are willing to do that and I believe that the leaders we have, again are what the public wanted, but they are not strong enough to “rip it up and start again”.

So for me I am going to take a breath. I am going to prayer for open heavens. I am going to ask God to raise up brave leaders who are willing to go against the media, against the status quo and be willing to really make a vision for the future that works for all. Not just tag something on to what is already here.

I am going to try to spend time asking God what the vision they see for our world is and then I am going try to pray and dream a brave new world [not of the Huxley type] into being. If we could all connect to something that benefits all then that would be totally amazing.

Categories
death Worst

The Worst Illness

Tessa at Weymouth beach, October 2022, photographed by me

I haven’t posted for 10 days because I have been down South visiting this friend here who is in her last days now of cancer. She is more than ready to go and is just waiting. I’ve also been staying with my Mum and her husband. Mum is 83 and her husband is 88 and has Parkinsons and is moving into early dementia. Mum is his chief carer.

I’ve had a few dear messages from people regarding my friend, most of which saying a version of “cancer is the worst”. Then I talk with my mum who is deal with deterioration of her husband and has seen other friends lose husbands to dementia and she is saying a version of “dementia is the worst”.

I think if we worked on it we could all come up with a way of seeing a friend or family member die as being “the worst”. Those poor people who got shot at that Chinese new year party in LA might be thinking that’s the worst.

But from watching my friend who is dying well I would say the worst way to die is to not be prepared and to fighting it all the way. My friend is at such peace, as is her husband and her son, and so that radiates on to the rest of us. She is calmly saying goodbye, tidying up her possessions, doing what she can and sleeping a lot. She isn’t of any faith at all but she has made her peace with the world and is ready to go.

Of course I am going to be sad when she goes but she has set me a good example, in her life as in her death. I don’t know when my time will come, though I am planning to make it as near to 100 as I can get. But when my time comes, whether it is slowly like cancer, quickly like a bullet, or many of the ways in-between, I want to meet it with peace, with knowing that all will be well, knowing that my estate is in order, that I hold no grudges, that I am at peace.

So I would say the worst death is the death you aren’t ready for whatever that is, which is also why I think we should keep short accounts, try not to hold on to anger and resentment, try not to spend our time going over our past and wonder what we could have done differently,trying not to put too much hope in the future, and just be our kind, open and naturally authentic selves.

And for myself to keep as close to the God of Creation as well as I can.

Categories
time trust

Time Poor?

This photograph of my dog has no relevance to this post – apart from him never being time poor or time rich – but it for one of my readers who told me how much she loves my posts but especially the ones with photos of Renly, who she knows personally!

I was a meeting the other night and there were people there who kept saying they were “time poor“. I had heard the expression before but not really engaged with it. I think what they meant was they were doing lots of things and so were busy.

I response in my head in the meeting was to think that maybe they should be thinking about what they are meant to be doing and asking their hearts if this was what they should be doing. And then my next thing was to want to boast and say that “now I’m healed/healing I am time rich“. But then I realised that both those responses are wrong. I am comparing and being proud. Neither of which is being respectful to the people I was with who are working really hard for my little town.

As I pondered it and did some journaling around my thoughts I realised I often panic that I don’t have time to do things and that this is what is stopping me getting some work that I should have because I’d be great at it. But I am also worried that I won’t have that allusive “enough” time to do all I think I ought to be doing. So in reality I was no better. I still think I could be “time poor“.

So more listening to my heart, listening to God who Created the Whole Universe, listening to the Universe. Then I realised that if I listen to my heart then I do have enough to do each day the things I am meant to do each day – whether that is keep house, run workshops, visit an ill friend down south to relieve her husband, see my mother, have coffee with my friends, be in school to do the things I am great at doing there. I will do what I am meant to do with the energy and time I need to all that.

So not “enough” as in the worrying that there isn’t enough but trusting that each and every day what I choose to do from listening to my heart will be what I am meant to do, and that I will not do too much or too little, will not be too busy, too time poor, but will glide through calmly knowing that I am being what I’m meant to be with enough time, energy, resources, experience, etc that I need. And then like my little dog I can enjoy the moment, seize the day, and live life to the full of who I am and what I love to do.

An aside – too often we see “living life to the full” as being super busy, but I am finding that the more I listen to my heart, to God, to the Universe, the more I am filled with deep joy, deep contentment, deep peace and a freedom to trust, the more I know that I am living life to a fullness that I never had when I was busy.

Categories
respect unconditional love

What Does It Look Like To You?

Newborough Beach Boxing Day 2022 taken by myself

Who has not looked at clouds and seen shapes, dragons, spaceships, incoming rain, promises of sunshine? The worst thing is when someone says “no that’s not right”. It is your imagination seeing the things. You know they are just clouds but are enjoying what you are picture.

I was thinking about both Respect and Unconditional Love and thinking they can look different to each one of us. I don’t think there is a one size fits all of respect or unconditional love.

I was walking with someone this morning who is struggling with something and I felt I had got the handle on it, but just as I was going to say my bit she said how hurt she’d been about people telling her why they thought she was dealing with this. I closed my mouth and listened to her. I did not say these friends of hers were wrong. I did not say they were right. I did listen and say that her feelings were her feelings. I gave her the respect she needed at that moment in time. Perhaps I could say I did not feel respected because I didn’t have my rant but actually that would not have been kind and helpful to her.

Perhaps Respect and Unconditional Love come when we lay aside our needs and wants and listen to the other person. Perhaps if we believed we were loved unconditionally by God, by the Universe, by something more than us, then we could let go of our needs and allow others to feel respect, to feel really loved.

How will this work with those who are striking? Who are asking for more money but who say they feel their jobs are not being respected, are not the caring jobs they signed up for? Money is not the answer if they are still expected to work in the conditions they are working in. Those in government, those in management, those with power, need to bend a bit, show these people they are important to the workings of this land.

I wonder if those in power, in government, in management, also do not feel respects, do not feel unconditionally love. How often does the media run down the government? With the latest words for the Prime Minister all that followed was complaints and criticisms. How would we all have felt if we put forward an idea and got it slated? But then those lower down do not feel respected.

So how do we change? One of the things that strikes me with the Lord’s Prayer – which I don’t think was meant to be read parrot fashion but was a serious of ideas we should be looking at – in “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” that this means us. You and me. For that to happen we need to be giving respect, giving unconditional love, listening and respecting the person we are with at the time, caring for our planet, our world. Caring firstly for those nearest to us.

If each of us showed respect to the person we met and then they showed respect to the next person they met and so and so forth, but the end of the day so many people would feel better about themselves, and I think towards each other. I don’t think it is about “making people Christians” but is about showing unconditional love, showing respect.

You know Jesus never told anyone to convert. He did tell them to change their lifestyles but he also showed them respect, unconditional love, and told them that the Kingdom of God, that true place of peace and deep joy, was nearer than they thought, was actually deep inside of them, but sometimes they just needed to let it out. And letting it out comes, I think, knowing our self-worth comes from within not without, that we are loved by something so much bigger than ourselves and that we have nothing to lose by being nice to others.

So today I will try to believe I am loved and respect and pass that on to others. That I really do not have anything to lose by being kind.

Categories
NHS respect

Respect

This view from my window this morning does not show the magnitude of the rain or the ferocity of the wind

This is a bit of a ramble from my thoughts this morning. I might do something more coherent in a few days! Maybe!

I was journaling around this word “Respect” and about the strikes and a WhatsApp conversation I had had with my son last night around him leaving the army this morning as I listed to the rain throwing itself at the window and the dustbin men emptying this bins at 7am.

He is leaving the army, along with many others, because he does not feel respected. When one really listens to the NHS staff on the picket lines, as in really listen, the main issue is the lack of respect. When we used to do Airbnb, because we lived within five miles of our local hospital, we had lots of junior and trainee doctors and nurses along with other hospital staff staying, and all were struggling with the lack of respect they were receiving – from their management and from the expectations of the public. One instance was when there was a call for doctor’s to be working all over the weekends, and one young woman told us that for that to work the doctor’s canteen would need to be open, the laboratories would need to be open, and there would need to be more doctors to cover all this.

A friend who worked on the railways was saying that most rail-workers contracts include having to do overtime and that most contracts are Monday to Friday and very few for the weekend and yet people want to catch trains on the weekend.

It made me think of the line from The Jam song “Going Underground” – “the public gets what the public wants” and I do wonder if this is what is going on. The government are so desperate for votes that when those they see as important voters ask for something they get it whether it is supporting the people who work in that area or not. But it is all done without respect for the workers – or even for how much it costs.

It is this respect that is the big thing though. I remember my Mum saying that they would always give the tradesmen – dustmen, postmen, milkman, paper boy – a tip at Christmas. Ok so I do remember her saying that with the dustmen it was more for fear that they would not pick up their bins in the new year but it was still done. It was till saying “thank you for being out there in all winds and weathers to do a rubbish job. I appreciate it”.

I know there was the clapping for the NHS during lockdown but then all was expected to go back to “normal” after a few weeks. And actually normal, as I had heard when doing the Airbnb prior to lockdown, was overworked staff, was ambulances outside hospitals for hours, was someone who phone for an ambulance for her father having a heart attack being told to get the town’s defibrillator and then drive her dad to hospital because the ambulance would not be there for over six hours. The news about all this is not news. It has been going on for years and years.

But I believe it is from years and years of lack of respect. I don’t think it is money really that is wanted. Though a decent wage for a hard job would be a start, but I think it is the need for those in power, and for us the general public, to show respect to those doing these jobs and stop expecting more than they are able to give.

I’d just like to end with this that I saw on Facebook this morning which I think sums things up

Thanks to Gaz for sharing
Categories
dog trust

Lessons From My Dog

Renly enjoying the beach. Cornwall August 2022

My dog is now 11 years old but he doesn’t realise it which is why you can see him leaping around like a puppy here on the beach. My dog, like most dogs, loves life and makes the most of things.

It struck me on New Year’s Eve how much I could learn from my dog. Renly is frightened of fireworks and has got more scared as time has gone on. But he never worries about it in advance. Around the beginning of November he sits cuddled on my lap as the world explodes outside and then goes to sleep. Because I’ve been full of flu I was in bed at 10pm on 31sst December, with the dog asleep by my side. We woke at midnight to the fireworks going off. He trembled next to me. The fireworks finished and he went back to sleep. He did not stay awake and worry about whether that was it, whether there would be more, whether things would be more scary. He went back to sleep.

There are other things he is afraid of – like big dogs. He was attacked twice by big dogs and so when he sees them he barks loudly at them. But he isn’t anxious before he goes out worrying about who he might see. Every time we go out he is so excited to be going. There is no fear of being attacked, of seeing someone he doesn’t like. Yes he is fearful when he sees a dog similar to the ones that attacked him but it is only in that moment.

So Lesson ONE – don’t be anxious about anything.

Lesson TWO – only worry about what is happening at the time. Deal with the moment and then move on.

Even when out he doesn’t stay nervous after seeing a big dog, or after hearing fireworks, or being frightened by some noise. The fear is in the moment, dealt with and then he moves on to the next part of the adventure.

Lesson THREE – is trust the one who cares for you. With the fireworks Renly fully trusts that if he snuggles up close to me that I will look after him and even though I don’t make the noises go away I am there for him. On walks he can be loud and barky towards these big dogs because even though there were two occasions when I didn’t manage to step in in time every other time I’ve been there for him. And even with the two occasions I did stop things getting horrid. I need to be trusting God and the Universe like that. Knowing that yes sometimes bad things to happen, but that I can snuggle under God’s wing and be protected by them. I don’t have to sort the world out on my own but can just stay safe and out the way.

So my intention for this year is to become more like my dog – to live in the moment, to not be anxious about anything, deal with things as and when they are happening but not outside those times, and to trust that God/the Universe has my back and that I can trust in my heart in all things, leaning into God when I need to and knowing they are there for me.