BEWILDERED PERPLEXED PUZZLED

By now you will be aware of the events in part of the CBD in Melbourne.

We as a part of the community have been involved in the community support.

There is nothing more to say, so I’ll leave you with our sign message….

JESUS
WEPT


What the?????!!!!

 It’s been a while since I last wrote anything here.  In that time there has been much of the ‘stuff of life’ going on. So much in fact I’m not sure where to start, what to say and what to leave unsaid.

Journeying with people as they begin married life, others who are laying loved ones to rest and hearing stories of injustices endured by indigenous peoples, and those who have endured loss due to decisions made to become the person they believe they are.

I often feel inadequate in many of the situations I find myself in, sometimes its a stranger who engages in conversation.

 One of those took place today.

As I was parking the bike a person approached as blurted out How can there be a God when the world is so shit??   (a reasonable question)

What followed was a comprehensive list of what is wrong with the world, conspiracy theories and the like.
The conversation, which was one sided, concluded with ‘well I have enough of this shitty world, so everyday i throw myself in front of trucks and buses because I’ve had enough’.

Where is a person supposed to go after a conversation like that? (to the pub????)

So whether we ourselves are experiencing darker moments or we are journeying with others through dark times, may brighter days await us.

Sometimes the words of others best help us understand the darker times.
These words from an Elder at Parihaka (NZ)

After the shades os darkness comes the dusk of dawn, 
whilst  before lies the shimmering glory of a fair day.
(he maru ahiahi kei muri te
maru awatea he pakiarohhi kei Mia)

…then this line from a song called..we’re all in this together

we’re all in this together walking the line between faith and fear…..
(not sure of its origins but heard it on a cd by old Crow Medicine Show)


This from the good book in Psalms, read at a funeral recently.

He shall cover you with his feathers, under his wings shall you trust:his truth shall be your shield and *buckler.

(*a smaller shield fitted to the wrist for added protection?)




BEING AND DREAMING RESTING BEING HUMAN

Life is ‘full’ and we often feel the need to be ‘busy’.
Im not opposed to ‘hard work’, Ive been in ‘the work force ‘since 1974, when I was fourteen.
These photos below were taken on a recent weekend ‘retreat’, the need to retreat and be is part of being human.
Don’t fall for the ‘Christian Work Ethic’ which makes one feel guilty for taking time to be.
Be still and know I am God, is often said but rarely practiced.

MAKE TIME TO TAKE TIME

Take me back, take me way, way, way back
On Hyndford Street
Where you could feel the silence at half past eleven
On long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
In the quietness as we sank into restful slumber in the silence
And carried on dreaming, in God
And walks up Cherry Valley from North Road Bridge, railway line
On sunny summer afternoons
Picking apples from the side of the tracks
That spilled over from the gardens of the houses on Cyprus Avenue
Watching the moth catcher working the floodlights in the evenings
And meeting down by the pylons
Playing round Mrs. Kelly’s lamp
Going out to Holywood on the bus
And walking from the end of the lines to the seaside
Stopping at Fusco’s for ice cream
In the days before rock ‘n’ roll
Hyndford Street, Abetta Parade
Orangefield, St. Donard’s Church
Sunday six-bells, and in between the silence there was conversation
And laughter, and music and singing, and shivers up the back of the neck
And tuning in to Luxembourg late at night
And jazz and blues records during the day
Also Debussy on the third program
Early mornings when contemplation was best
Going up the Castlereagh hills
And the cregagh glens in summer and coming back
To Hyndford Street, feeling wondrous and lit up inside
With a sense of everlasting life
And reading Mr. Jelly Roll and Big Bill Broonzy
And “Really The Blues” by “Mezz” Mezzrow
And “Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac
Over and over again
And voices echoing late at night over Beechie River
And it’s always being now, and it’s always being now
It’s always now
Can you feel the silence?
On Hyndford Street where you could feel the silence
At half past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God.
Songwriters
VAN MORRISON
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 Street Lyrics | MetroLyrics 


THEY CALL IT DEMOCRACY……..

Back loitering tonight, its cold and wet. I sense despair on the streets tonight………..mean while many of our senior politicians make excuses about their own fate after the election. Leaders spew out hateful words about ‘others’ who are different…. one multi millionaire business man even suggested we needed a ‘dictator’ to sort things out!! I wonder if there are many who give a ‘*flying f*#k’ about those who live in misery.
This poem, while written in a different time,  still reflects,I reckon on our society today. Obsessed with home ownership, status, creating personal wealth and the accumulation of more stuff we don’t need, sadly this includes some of us ‘churchies’ too!!! 
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that misery’s unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street —
Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet —
While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street —
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky
The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by,
Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet,
Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street —
Flowing in, flowing in,
To the beat of hurried feet —
Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

The human river dwindles when ’tis past the hour of eight,
Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late;
But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat
The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street —
Grinding body, grinding soul,
Yielding scarce enough to eat —
Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down
Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town,
Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street,
Tells of the city’s unemployed upon his weary beat —
Drifting round, drifting round,
To the tread of listless feet —
Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street.

And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away,
And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day,
Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat,
Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street —
Ebbing out, ebbing out,
To the drag of tired feet,
While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street.

And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day’s sad pages end,
For while the short `large hours’ toward the longer `small hours’ trend,
With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat,
Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street —
Sinking down, sinking down,
Battered wreck by tempests beat —
A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street.

A ‘mens club’ on one  of  our city streets.
DREAMS is the name, I wonder if dreams are made or shattered here???

But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes,
For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums,
Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet,
And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street —
Rotting out, rotting out,
For the lack of air and meat —
In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon’s slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street. 

Another Winters night out on the city streets 
I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,
And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill;
But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet,
They haunted me — the shadows of those faces in the street,
Flitting by, flitting by,
Flitting by with noiseless feet,
And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.

Once I cried: `Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.’
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city’s street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Coming near, coming near,
To a drum’s dull distant beat,
And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street. 

Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,
The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution’s heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street.
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drum’s loud threatening beat,
And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street. 
Life is a blur for many in the ‘most liveable city’
Local Council make it hard for people, often moving them on.

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
But not until a city feels Red Revolution’s feet
Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street —
The dreadful everlasting strife
For scarcely clothes and meat
In that pent track of living death — the city’s cruel street. 

??

Be good to people..for no reason

Be good to people…. for no reason.
Those of you who know me will know I’ve got a minor shoulder injury. I’ve been having physio for it and a couple of weeks ago I went to a physiotherapist in South Melbourne. I parked my car, put my coins in the meter and went in to be stretched and moved in very painful ways.
As with all these things the physio was running late, took longer than the appointed time and then it took me a while to pay. All in all my half an hour appointment took me nearly 50 minutes. I’d paid for about 35 of parking (all the change I had).
Walking back to my car I could see a couple of the other cars parked near mined parking tickets on it. Mine too had a little slip of paper flapping under the wiper.
Dismayed I went over and pulled it out. But imagine my joy when I found that it wasn’t a parking ticket, it was a note that said – 
“I saw the parking attendant coming round and so I fed your parking meter for you.
Someone did it for me, all I ask is that you do a random act of kindness in return.
Yours,
A Helpful Stranger.”
Whoever this stranger was I want to thank them and if they ever read this please know that I will do as you ask. 
And now I’ll remind you to do the same – do a random act of kindness to someone. It could be to feed their parking meter, pay for their coffee, give up your seat on a tram. Any one of a thousand little things. Do it! It makes the world a better place. A little brighter for you and a lot brighter for the recipient. Trust me, I know, I’ve been the recipient. 
So be good to people…for no reason.
It’s the essence of that Bible verse that says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
or as the Message Bible puts it (verses 31-34)
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the loveable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.”
Yes, we’ve all hear stories of these random acts of kindness of cafe bills being paid or pathways cleared of snow (not an issue we have here) etc – well don’t just listen to the stories – be one. GO and be good to people…for no reason at all other than it’s what Jesus has told us to do! 

Make the world a little brighter for someone!

A true Christian path would lead them into the untidy stables of the poor and oppressed, to shovel shit with the Messiah. Instead they remain spiritually shipwrecked, floundering on the shoals of their own ambitions and indifference, slick and ridiculous in their genuflections to greed.
From B Cockburn: Rumours of Glory: on thoughts of Brennan Manning


Over the past seven weeks I have had time to read and reflect while a fractured ankle healed.

I read, listened to music and watched movies and documentaries.

I was challenged  as to how and why I do what i do as i loiter.


I was challenged  as to my  responsibility in the communities i live and move, so now I’m back on my feet, i need to implement the “KISS’ method…….

                                                               KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!!!!!













NOT ‘FEELING IT’ ANYMORE???

meeting many people who are not ‘feeling it no more’
having grown up being told ‘its not a feeling its a reality’, sounded a little too scientific for me, after all we have been taught the ‘rational’, which happens in the head is all that is to be trusted, where as the ‘irrational’ or the ‘gut feeling’ is not to be trusted.

as someone who likes to cook and who worked as a cook for many years, if I look at cooking only from a process of science, it loses all interest and ‘feeling’ for me. Sure understanding what is happening while i cook is important, that ‘feeling’ of satisfaction and creativity is not controlled by the scientific understanding i have of the process.

sadly for many organised ‘religion’ or even ‘modern’ ‘church’ leaves a deep sense for some of disconnect. We have designed a process by which we assume is ‘the way’ which more often than not leaves no room for contemplation, dialogue rather a talk fest often controlled by one or two people.

Have to get back, have to get back the base
I need to talk to somebody, I can trust
Too many cooks are tryin to spoil the broth
I cant feel it in my throat, thats all she wrote
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
Not feeling it no more, not feeling it anymore
When I was high at the party, everything looked good
I was seein through rose colored glasses
Not seein the wood for the trees
I started out in normal operation
But I just ended up in doubt
All my drinking buddies, they locked me out
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
No feeling it no more, Im tryin to give you the score
You see me up there baby, Im on the screen
But I know better now, its so unreal
If this is success, then somethings awful wrong
‘Cause I bought the dream and I had to play along
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
Im tryin to give you the score, Im not feeling it no more
We all know that money, dont buy you love
You just get a job and somewhere to live
You have to look for happiness, within yourself
And dont go chasin, thinkin that it is somewhere else
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
Baby Im tryin to give you the score
Im not feeling it no more
I was pretending all the time
I was givin everybody what they wanted
And I lost my peace of mind
And all I ever wanted was simply just to be me
All you ever need is the truth
And the truth will set you free
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
Im tryin to give you the score, just like I did before
Im not feeling it no more, Im not feeling it anymore
Im not feeling it no more, baby, Im just trying to give you the score
Im not feeling it no more, not feeling it anymore
Not feeling it no more
Not feeling it no more, baby



The Home of the Lost and Found

Easter Saturday Vigil

What happens when a few people,with no idea of what they are really doing, don’t seek notoriety or claim success,  are aware of their own ‘issues’  and failings, take risks, love people and seek to see where God is and join in??……….. well you get something like this…
children hiding chocolate eggs in the park for other children,whose  parents score their ‘stuff’ in this park, where dispossessed people meet, hot chocolate, hot x buns and conversation for those whose backyard this is, a meeting place during the day to converse as together we share life in the simple day to day stuff………….





The Saturday of Light
or
The In Between Days Liturgy 
for 
Easter Saturday
Father forgive us, for we know not what we do.
In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, today is known as the Saturday of Light, it is the first celebration of Easter and the first time the “Hallelujah” is used since the beginning of Lent. The sadness of Friday has passed and the faithful wait for the Light to shine in the darkness once more, renewed for the beginning of the liturgical year. 
We give thanks for the traditions of the faithful in other places.
The Church has a history of making solemn the celebrations of it’s seasons. We, called to live in hope and joy, more often than not live in the struggle of fear, of doubt and in ignorance. It is only what is appropriate, for on this night long passed, those followers of the Light sat in mourning, in disbelief and in terrible fear. For the Light that shined around them had gone out and they knew not where to find Him. The land had turned to darkness, the veil was rent, the women wept at the foot the cross, His disciples had fled in mortal terror. Only John stayed, to keep comfort His mother and to hear that sinner’s great prayer “truly, this man was the Son of God”. 
LORD we are scattered like sheep with no shepherd
Lifeless He hung there, bruised for our transgressions, heavy with the weight of the world. The Jesus of the miracles, of the parables, of the teachings, the Jesus of the highways and the byways, somehow, had become the Jesus of the garden, the Jesus of the trial, the Jesus of the cross. Where should they turn now? He had the words of eternal life, and now, that life was over. Were they condemned because the light had come into the world and that light was the light of men? What now when there was darkness? Where is light in the darkness, where is faith, hope, joy, love? The darkness of this Saturday was darker than any before.
Between dark and light
Between death and life
LORD grant us Faith
and strength to keep searching for the Light
Scripture is filled with stories of darkness, from the creation in Genesis, the barren womb of Sarah, the slavery of Egypt, the time before the Torah, poor Jonah in the belly of the great fish, that time when there were no prophets in Israel and God had taken the light of revelation from the people who would declare His truth. Beside the rivers of Babylon, exile, genocide, the darkness prevailed. Hope was lost, doubt was everything, and in the hearts of men and women, terrible fear. 
LORD in your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER
Yet…..God in the darkness is still the God of light, even the darkness of a new tomb, sealed by rock, and guarded by enemies. He clothes Himself in light as a garment, He made two lights in the heavens, He made the stars also. He is the God of Life we are never to forget, those stars are meant to remind us of the glory of the creator of all light.
LORD we seek you in the glory of your creation, light our path we pray
We too are in darkness, sometimes, in despair, loneliness, loss, uncertainty, in the fear that things will never be bright again. We stumble in the darkness of our own faithlessness and arrogance, in the dark night of legalism without grace, judgement without justice, crown without cross, in the darkness of plenty in a land barren of salt and light.
You LORD, only you, be our light in the darkness
For the Jews, the new day starts at the sunset of the old, a new beginning in the darkness of the day before. Night before light, blackness before the morning, the waning moon before the rising sun. The Rising Son. 
LORD the Son rises.
Life must overcome, the life that is the light of women and men, of girls and boys, of lost and found, is rising. This is the story of tomorrow, and the story of tonight. For what went on in that tomb was life besting death, which now will have no sting. Mourning has been soothed with the oil of joy. Beauty for the ashes of despair. This is the Good News of the light and of life. The Son is rising anew, for the first time, forever.
LORD we pray
for those trapped in darkness, LORD we pray
for those who prefer the darkness, LORD we pray
for those in the darkness of addiction, LORD we pray
for those who suffer abuse, LORD we pray
for those who abuse, LORD we pray
for the wealthy, LORD we pray
for the poor, LORD we pray
for those in war, LORD we pray
for the soldier, LORD we pray
for the child soldier, LORD we pray
for those without a safe home, LORD we pray
CBD
for those seeking refuge, LORD we pray
AltarInTheWastelandfor those without clean water, LORD we pray
for those stricken with illness, LORD we pray
for those who minister to them, LORD we pray
for those without power or voice, LORD we pray
for those in power, LORD we pray
for us, LORD we pray
for the weak, the weary, the sad, the broken, the fearful, the despairing, the grieving, the hungry, the ignorant, the doubting
LORD hear our prayer.
It is the custom of Christians to wait until the new night of tomorrow, to kindle the candles that brighten the new year. We of faith, gathered here now, in faith, knowing that tomorrow is already history, light these candles, because for us, tomorrow is here, tomorrow has already come. Life and light are ours, the new light of tomorrows miracle shines in our hearts, darkness is no more. The life is the light of women, and men, and we prefer the light.
Let us light these candles, and go forward, bearing the light into the all our tomorrows.

LORD, in your goodness, hear our prayer

POPUP

broken people in a broken world
working on mending together
offering hope where it would appear 
there is none to be found
light where often there is only darkness
love where love is often lost


heaven don’t miss it for the world


heaven don’t miss it for the world….
so said the sign on the road side…..

It appears like we think Heaven is somehow going to be better than The World????

When we pray for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, what are we asking or expecting??

Its seems  we are just biding time, or waiting for ‘pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye rather than steak on the plate while we wait’?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager for things to be ‘put right’, whatever that looks like.

All new things or all things renewed??

Its Easter, perhaps its time to get on with God’s will being done on earth, rather that waiting for your insurance policy to be invoked.

Don’t hide Jesus this Easter, get out there where its happening and be part of things being renewed…….if your looking for Jesus this is where Jesus will be…..





on the turning away

Hey you, hey you, yes you…I wanna talk to you, this is what I heard as I loitered intentionally recently on the streets of Melbourne.

‘It was a bloke who I knew from a community in  another suburb.

I had not see him for a while, and to be honest the last encounter had been a little strange.
Strange, because this man spotted me riding my motorcycle, jumped in his car and started to follow me!!
This man, has a history of severe mental health issues.

This chance encounter was a bit different, although I did have an uneasy feeling, and I made a snap decision to keep it short.

After a brief conversation we went our separate ways.

I was reflecting on that encounter recently while listening to some Pink Floyd on vinyl.

I considered the words from the song, on the turning away.


On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away” 
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud 
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night 
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

I am aware that not all those I encounter are my ‘responsibility’, however on this occasion i wonder if a meal or coffee together may have been appropriate? I may never know, I can only hope that we meet again, or I hear that still small voice and respond.




Leunig







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