Looking Forward

Sometimes I look at this face looking back at me in the bathroom mirror and think, You poor little old woman. Other days I think, Good grief it’s my mother, and more often than not I shrug and carry on with the ablutions regardless.

This is the time of year for looking forward rather than back. I need to think about the future rather than the difficult year that has just gone. Why, I ask myself, have I bothered so much about the state of the nation, and the world, and the universe? Friends have been visiting recently and their attitude is to ignore the bad news, preferring to have hope and beauty in the living room alongside them, rather than violence, war and sorrow. That is a valid way of coping, but it requires a discipline of will that I find very hard to follow. Perhaps it is because of the years of checking the news before stepping out of the house to go and lead worship, or more likely, it is an ingrained habit from my earliest years.

The first time I remember reading a newspaper – I fail to recall which one, though it was a tabloid-style – was on the 10th Anniversary of the relief of one of the concentration camps of the Second World War. I read the text, looked at the photographs and found myself in tears, unable to fully take in what I was seeing. Then I accused my parents saying, How could you let this happen? Of course they were flummoxed. But more so me, especially now as I look back rather than forward, there have been so many times when I have felt helpless and wretched at being unable to change the world and make it better for the sorrowful and hurting.

I know . . . . . .  Here I am still looking back. If this was a sermon it would be so easy for me to find a passage of scripture, a story from the Bible or a homily about good deeds, turning the bad on its head and spinning the answer into some kind of recipe for individual acts of kindness changing the world. On a good day, I truly believe that, but looking at my grandchildren I wonder how they feel. What will I say should they ask, Grandma why do such atrocities happen? or Why are women subject to such violence? 

Maturity in faith brings more questions rather than answers, and I know more and more that changing the world starts with me. I want to go on and say, and with you . . . .  but that comes from writing sermons, throwing out challenges and seeing the glass half full instead of half empty.  So please do excuse me and indulge me a bit longer.

Perhaps I want to say this for the first post of 2017 – look forward and stand tall. I believe there is more good in the world than evil. That means there are more good people than nutters. If I ever let myself doubt that, then out comes another rant. And I don’t want Son #3 to say yet again – You were having a right old rant to yourself weren’t you?

Blessings from Dalamory




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3 Responses to Looking Forward

  1. Sheila says:

    It’s the little things that keep me going.

  2. Dear Freda!
    You are for certain not the only one with less answers every year, I share that.
    The only answer reachable is to stay close to Jesus, however that is to be. I tend to rely more and more on grace and less and less on our possibilities to turn things right. What I do can make a difference, but only when I attach it to the grace available in the Lord.
    Our children asks lots of questions about evil and how God can permit. That question stands clear in every new generation and the answer is always the same:
    God took action against evil, that is why Jesus had to die and that is why all our hopes lies in Him.
    Some days I find myself preaching instead of having a souldeep and important talk with someone about things that matters, it’s the habit of, like you say, interpret reality and find the right quotes to rely on. But when you are tired and overwhelmed by the state of things, your head go blank. I can’t ignore the turmoil either, but I can’t let it win over me. I too believe in more good people than nutters, and I have daily proof of it too!
    You stand amazed and touched by the love and care ordinary people actually gives to total strangers. When God throws us in to a situation where there is no time to hesitate, we often, often enough, make the most loving choice.
    So the future, whatever that means, is in the Lords hands and you are part of His plan.
    You write so sincere and emphatic, Freda, anyone can recognize themselves in your thoughts and doubts. That is actually a good thing both in the important and close conversation and the sermon. Thank you for bringing light and sense into the year to come, and I agree with Sheila, on little thing at the time, small glimpses of light keeps us going. Blessings to you in Dalamory,hope this year turns out right for you!

  3. I told my sister, these days, I looked in the mirror and saw Mom, to which she replied, How would you like to look in the mirror and see Dad?

    She could always manke me laugh.

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