Diversity is one of the great wonders of life. We celebrate it in flowers, in landscape, in animals, in every facet of nature, yet think others must adhere to our own personal box. Worse yet we endever to confine ourselves within the criteria of others. God made people as diverse and wonderful as the rest of his kingdom – good comes in many forms, let us celebratthem all.
I love Christmas! Come enjoy my decorating. Think carols and mulled wine around! Take a glass and let’s toast the season!
As days grow colder, the trees gradually drop the gaudy garlands of leaves masking their true strength and beauty. Even so do we, as adversity’s chilling winds efface the sunshine in our lives, drop our masks, revealing our inner nakedness and humility. Others watching marvel, overwhelmed by our true beauty. As distresses fall, like freezing snow, upon our boughs we become ever more beautiful to the beholding eye. Old dead branches fall away and our inner soul is strengthened.
Ignoring the subtle play on words (metal should read mettle – meaning his strength and resolve) I empathised with this quote, picturing the many “knights” I knew, both male and female. Those whom life had battered, who’d fought against the odds, defended the helpless, refused to give up. So many stories crossed my mind, so many with battered armour. Maybe they were no longer young and fresh, had never been beautiful, or rich, or successful. Maybe they bear the scars of battle even, but they are more than conquerors.
I’m proud to know so many of those people. The single mum who battles for her children, the parents of a disabled child, the survivors of a wreaked relationship, those heavy with grief, those smiling on the outside disguising the pain within, so, so many different stories. The battered armour to me is far more beautiful than the gleaming untried suit.
It can get discouraging watching the news – violence, poverty, corruption etc. The problems seem so complex and unsolvable but the answer has always been there, so simple!
It was delivered to us by a lowly carpenter two thousand years ago, yet we haven’t implemented it. The answer is love (or it might be more clearly stated compassion). You see if you love someone you share with them, even down to your last mouthful. Jesus statement “sell all that you have and give to the poor,” or Acts, “All that believed were together and had all things common,” sound pretty scary, but imagine if everyone actually did that. Not at the barrel of a gun (as in communism) but voluntarily out of love, there would be plenty for all. God has always given enough it’s just not shared out evenly. (I just read in among the many articles regarding the “Paradise Papers” half the world’s wealth is in the hands of just eight people – imaging sharing that out!) Capitalism and our various economic systems are not Christian ideologies, quite the reverse in fact. Sharing would end world poverty and much of the disease prevalent in poor nations (also probably in rich ones too, as the wealthy no long overindulged lol!) What about the loafers? I hear someone ask. Again simple, Love does its best and works hard for the sake of others. Communism, though admittedly a lot more biblical than capitalism, left out the love part (not to mention God) – that’s why it didn’t work.
“Do unto others as you’d have them do to you,” that means wars would cease – you can’t kill/hurt someone you love! Crime would cease because you also don’t steal from someone you love. Overall health would improve as greedy corporations, brought to their knees by love, ceased polluting and destroying the earth and big pharma became benign at last.
Of course I’m a dreamer, such changes would take hundreds of years to implement even were all to be willing (and many are not) as Jesus said “how hard it is for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom”. The change would need to be gradual one heart at a time. But it annoys me when I hear folks blame things on God. He gave us a good plan in the beginning, but we thought we were wise (what comes of listening to “serpents”) and put our own plans into action instead. You can see where that brought us! Then Jesus came to give us the plan again, and at first it worked, till the church itself became part of “the establishment” and compromised to stay safely under that umbrella, gradually getting further and further sucked in.
I have little hope of these changes taking place, (at least till Jesus returns to finally take over before we wipe ourselves out). It’s hard for most folks to even think outside the box of our present economic systems etc. but then there are always those wonderful individuals, who warm the heart by their courage in following the true plan for mankind, those of whatever religion, creed, or lack thereof, whose love and compassion overcome their fears to give all and in giving all find all, for “God is love.”
My first morning joy is to step out on my balcony. You can see why! Wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature is one of the purest forms of worship. How I love that God is an artist too!