Yes I am alive and all rumours that I had been kidnapped by a renegade faction of the Church with the intention of forcing a coup and installing me as the next Pope are seriously exaggerated. I mean there's the whole being Cardinal first after all.
First day back at work and I am trying not to ask why? why was I not born wealthy where I could travel the world writing icons moving in and out of communities and settling in lonely cabins in snow filled forests or nestled into wild coast lines?
Okay so this is a brief posting(yeah right) high lites, low lights and insights of the 'festive' season.
Friends 12 year old son out salmon fishing with his dad on New Years Day catches his first Salmon then a short time later falls over dead. Family left wondering what kind of God lets this happen. Second low light old family friend dies after heart attack, his wife is Christian with AoG he is not. Wife is left full of anxiety and terror praying to God please please let him go to heaven "he is a good man even though he is not saved' her words not mine.
Two very different responses to grief and indeed to God.
Two family occasions over Christmas both where I am the focus of you Christians have done this this and this wrong in the world you are hateful bigoted etc all veiled in polite terms and said by family 'friends' nice introduction to Christian bashing by loved ones. Not sure how to deal with this one it is an ongoing process for me.
Having lunch with an old long haired self confessed Jesus freak and look alike, who over spinach pie debates prophecy and the challenge of change as leaps of faith. Then after lunch takes me jetty jumping in Lyttleton Harbour, big drops into thirty feet of water where you can't see the bottom. Where we jump again and again until I have the courage to take off by myself hurtling off the end of the peer. The two of us like kids yelling out in the name of the father and the son and the 'Splash". Has it really been so long since I have smiled with such abandon?
Christmas morning wrapping presents with the tele on, children's cartoons on all about Christmas all variations of I was poor and lost, on the naughty list and then Santa came and it was lovely and I got a new family and we are all loved and perfect, and singing around a tree, and we all had mountains of food and presents and dad and mum didn't get drunk and fight and we were cherished. Not a Jesus insight. It was for me a rancid joy. Here there was image after image of sugar and spice and all I could think of was the kids who would be watching this for whom this image of Christmas was unobtainable. Who would be wondering 'how come my Christmas is not like this?' 'If I was better maybe I would have this maybe, maybe, maybe.'
And I am left just thinking this is obscene, if it weren't for Jesus what would this holiday be?
There are a couple more insights but that will come in time, in the meantime I have fulfilled my long short posting quotas blessings to you all