Imagine that you are an armadillo with an armoured carapace. What would you shield yourself from? Birds of Prey? Predators that prowl in the night? It weighs a lot this armor but really you as an armadillo have no choice but to wear it. It is part of them and protects them fro when they are most vulnerable to predators: when they are calmly going about their daily business of eating, preparing or maintaining a burrow, raising their young or whatever. The armor isn’t the only defences nature gave to the armadillo: a keen sense of sight, smell and of hearing also aid the armadillo in keeping vigilant when it needs to be. Our health, mental health, prospects, ambitions.
Beyond what we as humans know about keeping vigilant in our own lives is our faith. Faith can take on many forms. Faith as a person living alone is as strong or needs to be as someone helping to raise a family or running a large corporation.Why? Because you are human.But stuck alone in a bedsit without anyone to talk to all day long it is often the feeling that faith is without form to be strong and to celebrate the Christian festivals which all seem to be centred around family or community. Taking in the harvest, Easter, Christmas alone are all an act of will devoid of the variety and joy we were lead to believe that as Christians our lives would contain.
Be not bitter. Have faith becomes a mantra repeated indefinitely through friends, family and the media. Have faith because one day fortune will come along! Have faith, do not be selfish, think of your friends and family.
I am confident that many of you reading this can tell uplifting stories of faith has carried you through difficult and testing times and this will come as no surprise to you probably because as you have no doubt realised: faith works! When we are down in the dumps, friendless or feeling like that, when hope seems furthest away is when we Christians come through for ourselves and for others.
When it really matters. When the odds are stacked against us time and time again, faith and the presence of God and the Holy Spirit makes us strong enough to mend that fence, to take out and scrub the bins, to clean the windows, to wash-up and dry up.
And in this time now when nothing adds up is when as a Christian you can use your faith imaginatively or like the armadillo’s shell, just to keep yourself safe.
Phew! I think that’s what ‘they’ call ‘cathartic’ in that my own experiences and views came out in my writing. Be that as it may I realise that the struggle many people face is very present and real and difficult, if not extremely so and prayer seems like so much p***ing into the wind. But I also know that the bible teaches us about Jesus the Healer, Miracles and believe that much of that is because stuff like that happens because God wills it to.
I am still waiting for my book on Lay Preaching to arrive, but I am going away for a few days now so there will probably be no more writing for a few days until Monday or Tuesday of next week.
I am still open to requests for writing on a Lay Preaching theme. If say you wanted a piece of writing centred around the parable of the miracle of the loaves and fishes I would be happy to attempt it for you, as a form of practice for me. It’s a win-win. There will be a delay as I do research, draft and read around your chosen subject. But so long as you are aware of this you can give me as much information as you like e.g. word length, audience, bent etc.
If any of you good people (or not so good) does wish to contact me please do so using the website. Bye.