The hospital for souls

Sunday, 18 November 2012

| | | 5 drops in the ocean
Light.   All-pervading light.  Beds all around - only they aren't like beds, more like clouds... or rather, the sort of beds that you can lie in and immediately feel rested and comfortable in without having to move around.  I lie in one, a tired soul... tired of the world and worn out from its strains, scarred from its hurts.  Many other tired souls lie around me, each occupying one of these otherworldly cloud-beds.  Each looks like it has faded; they are almost translucent, their substance all but gone.  Then I notice something else: a Figure.  He walks among them, stopping at intervals, checking on each, and doing something I couldn't quite see.  Then I realise: he is ministering to them in some way.  As the figure moves on from each soul, I notice another thing; the souls have changed.  It is as if they are more real - they are less translucent then they were before, more solid.

I come to another realisation: I am in a hospital - only this is no ordinary hospital; there are no wires or tubes.  The healing of the souls seems to come from the air itself, and as I lie there, I feel more rested in five minutes than if I had spent eight hours of 'normal' sleep.  Only time doesn't seem to matter here.  An eternity is the same as five minutes; this place is outside the limitations of time.  There seems to be something in the air - I can feel it seeping into my being, restoring me.  Life.  Not the sort of life we normally talk about, no, a sort of aliveness that is more real and tangible than anything in our world, a strong and vibrant life that pervades everything, and I now realise is emanating from the Figure who walks among the souls.  I lie for a while, rested.  Now I am recharged, and it is time to go...

Sanitised Christianity

Friday, 26 October 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean
Christians are called to help people in need.  The simple fact: we are getting it wrong when it comes to carrying this out.  We go up to a person and tell them: 'you need God' - yes, maybe the person does need God, but first and foremost they need our love, compassion, and help!  Jesus didn't go around telling people 'mate, you need God.  I'm going to convert you now'.  No!  He first met their need, then he revealed who God was through himself.  In the church today Christianity has become a sanitised Sunday-morning affair - we go on a Sunday morning, we attend bible study, but see a poor person on the street?  Nah, not my sort of thing.  Someone else can help him.  Friends, when we see a need, we need to meet it.  That is what Christians are called to do.  That is what the kingdom of God is about.  First and foremost, we need to learn to love God.  Then loving our neighbours will come naturally...


Silly poem day

Thursday, 20 September 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean
We need more cheeriness
In a world full of dreariness
There's far too much weariness
For my liking.

So let's put it aside;
And instead let's abide
In the things we can all
Take delight in.

Life is like a quartet: two thoughts on life and music

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean
1.)  Life is like a quartet: everyone has their part to play and each player has to listen to the others, so that he complements them; either by joining together in a strong voice of harmony, or by slipping into the background and allowing another to take up the tune and have his moment of glory.

Say you are playing a piece of Mozart.  The first violin might have the tune, while the other instruments will just have bars of repetition.  Dull as these parts seem on their own, when the music is heard as a whole, they provide the foundation for the tune to be built on, and they turn out to be vital in holding the music together.  I'm sure you can see what I'm saying here.  Even if you think you are not contributing in any significant way to society, or think your job is dull, you are probably a key staple without which the Whole would be lacking.  You are more important than you may realise.

2.)  Let's continue our Mozart theme.  Quite often when playing Mozart, the first violin might have a tune, then the second violin might echo it.  Doesn't this resemble our words?  We say something, and our words are echoed by others - like a pebble dropped into a calm pond, the ripples spread out around it.  Our words might be echoed verbatim, or perhaps along the same theme, but changed slightly, or maybe even reversed altogether, so that what is heard is the inverse of what was originally spoken.

Enjoy the rest of the week and God bless you.


Photo of the Day

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean
This was a photo I took at the Royal Highland Show, which I went to last week. These are 'Arbroath Smokies', - haddock which have been salted (to preserve them and take excess moisture out) before being smoked, hanging in pairs in a half whisky barrel which is lined with slates and covered in hessian.  I believe they use beech and oak for the fire.  A fascinating process and I can assure you the end result tasted fantastic...

I used pixlr-o-matic to age the photo and give it a more 'authentic' look!

Night Owl

| | | 3 drops in the ocean
Mind a-wandering
Drifting in and out
Of a series of half-formed thoughts

A blanket
Wrapped around her
Listening for the tap
The tap of fingers on keyboard

Spilling themselves out
Onto the page
In a rather random fashion

Maybe it is time to let them sleep...

A thought or two

Monday, 25 June 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Many of you will have seen in the news about the fire that recently destroyed the Kashmir Sufi Shrine. It is sad news for many Muslims and Hindus who worshipped there frequently, as well as the fact that it is the loss of an historic building. However, as devastating as this occurrence is for some, it did make me think a bit. Many world religions put great importance on shrines and buildings as places of worship, prayer, etc, as well as physical relics. I was reminded of the words of Jesus, when he is speaking to a Samaritan woman, having stopped by at a well. He asks her for a drink of water - as Jews did not associate with Samaritans at the time, this was a preposterous thing to ask - and she tells him so.

Jesus replies: 
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

The woman is clearly confused by this, assuming he is talking about physical water. Jesus goes on to tell her:
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

The spring of living water that Jesus refers to is the Spirit of God, who is given freely to those who ask... (see Luke 11:9-13 and Acts 2:38-39)

The conversation continues, and Jesus finishes by saying to her:

"believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

You can read the full story in John 4. The thing is, as Christians we don't need shrines, buildings, or any other physical objects to worship God. As Jesus said, all that is required of us is that we worship him in Spirit and in more, no less. Buildings and man-made objects will fade or be destroyed over time, whatever we try and do to preserve them. These things are ephemeral. As David the psalmist so aptly put it in Psalm 103:

"As for man, his days are like grass;
  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him..."

What a wonderful truth.


Eagle's wings

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Here is a 100 word short story, which took me about two minutes to write and is based on the dream I had last night.  I often dream about flying, which apparently is a good thing (or so I've read).

She flew as an eagle, caught up on the wind and engulfed in the stream of morning light, soaring high above the green fields.  As a jagged peak hastened towards her, she glided gracefully over it, descending slowly towards the lush grass.

When she flew her heart soared - it seemed to draw her to a different dimension; one of boundless grace.  Her flying was effortless, as if drawn by a powerful force which compelled her towards unexplored realms of adventure.

She alighted elegantly on the ground, with the knowledge that she could go anywhere; nothing could hold her back.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles..." Isaiah 40:31

Still Alive and Kicking

Saturday, 19 May 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Hello all.  As you may have noticed, the posts around here have been somewhat in absentia in recent months.  However, do not fear, the blog has definitely not been forgotten about and all will be restored to normal working order in the due course of time.

I have had an exceptionally busy time, and am currently in the middle of exams.  These thankfully will be over by the 24th, so hopefully there will be plenty of time for getting the creative juices going again and doing some writing!

In the meantime, it's back to the studying...

God bless,


Unconditional Love...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

| | | 0 drops in the ocean easy to administer; yet so difficult to accept...

Yesterday I turned 20.
As I look at the cards adorning my desk, and all the gifts people have so thoughtfully given me, I wonder about this.  Why is it that we as human beings find the concept of unconditional love so hard to grasp?

Happy New Year

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

| | | 1 drops in the ocean
Well, first off I would like to wish all readers who might be lurking a very (slightly belated) happy new year, whatever it might bring.  I know it has been a long time since I last posted anything, but alas, life got in the way and I found myself neglecting my duties a little...

So here we are, a new year, a new start for some, a time to write resolutions for others (then promptly blow them, in some cases!), and for others just another ordinary 365 days.

Me?  Well, 2011 was a year of studies, adventure, new friendships and coming into a deeper place spiritually.  I can definitely look back and say that I learnt a great deal - on many different levels - last year.  My course at uni gradually seems to be making more sense as I see all the building blocks starting to fit together.  It is, however, far more fast-paced now I'm halfway through my third year (where have the last 2 gone??)...sometimes I feel like there is so much to learn and far too little time to learn it!  The coming year promises to be even more intense - my timetable for the next semester seems to be fairly jam-packed, anyway...

My hopes for 2012 include making new friendships and deepening old, getting a half reasonable grade in the end of year exams, getting some work experience during the summer (and hopefully fitting some adventure in too!), keeping in a reasonable state of fitness, and working on various personal qualities (...timekeeping...ahem... :p).  But above all, I want to be able to come away from 2012 knowing that I have made the most of the time I've been given, become a year wiser and more experienced, and changed for the better along the way.  Though there are bound to be a fair share of downs as well as ups, I'm hoping the ups will by far outweigh the downs.

Oh yes, and I have resolved to try and write more, so you had better keep me to it!  :)

All the best,


Ps.  I would love to hear what your hopes and fears are for 2012...