Category Archives: home

(Untitled)

Belfast how you’ve grown.

I was barely gone, on the scheme of things

But I barely know you and

Cannot put my finger on

What it is that makes me love you and yet

Feel still so far away.

Crowds are lonely even when there are

Familiar faces.

Faces drawn on bravely,

Drawn on a wall, peace walls.

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Thursday, 30 January, 2014 · 4:48 pm

5 of the reasons a “Returning Medium-Term Missionary” might seem a bit weird.

1. “Home” is no longer a clear-cut concept.  Asking ‘how does it feel to be home?’ is likely to be met with a blank look and, at best, a muttered half-truth or at worst, sobs.

2. Feelings change in direct relation to the ticking of a clock, so any question which relates to said feelings (how does it feel to be back? do you feel the cold? do you fancy a cup of tea?) probably means the answer has already changed 4 or 5 times before your voice even has a chance to inflect the question mark.

3. A big part of the brain still operates in a foreign language or some mixed-up version thereof, franglais par exemple.  Therefore common words and phrases like ‘toothbrush’ and ‘go for a walk’ are blanked out and one speaks in structures of sentences bizarre.

4. A big part of the body still carries the habits of the etiquette of the other culture.  When we need to walk past each other in the street, you will politely move over to your left as I politely move over to my right only to discover you’re still in MY way.  At which point, it becomes a game of chicken.  May the best foreigner win.

5. Everything is relative.  Every situation is open to comparison – it wasn’t like this where I was, when I was here before it was like that, I never used to see this, I always used to do that…  The possibilities for difference and discovery and naming of difference are endless as well as the ways in which those differences are important or not.  “Left-hand side of the road, Left-hand side of the road, LEFT-HAND side of the road…”

Tomorrow… a few survival tips (for all involved!) on dealing with a ‘Returning Medium-Term Missionary’ who might seem a bit weird.

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Filed under change, culture, grace, home, story

Roomie

Remember that night you were coming home late

And I stood up at the window in the door while you were putting your key in the lock?

You screamed blue murder and alarmed the neighbours

While I crossed my legs and we laughed til our bellies ached.

 

 

Remember that night I came home to an unexpected correspondance;

I fell to my knees at your door and wept?

You too wore out knees and tissues

While I grieved and doubted and raged, we sobbed til our throats were raw.

 

 

Remember I used to leave ends of old baguette on the kitchen counter

Like a little present unasked for but not entirely unexpected?

You’d smile and leave it there til I’d remember what I’d done

And we’d laugh and sit down to eat your diet soup without bread while the cat scratched at our jeans.

 

 

Remember we refused to get a television because we were oh so cultured darling,

And we put your PC in the corner out of the way, because there was nowhere else for it?

You’d casually switch it on, slip a DVD in the drive and with a sideward glance at my nod

We’d watch Friends back to back til bedtime.

 

 

Remembered vignettes of a shared life, a witnessed life, a different life;

Moving in, moving out, moving on…

Things change, memories make it worthwhile

But now I have to do all the dishes.

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Filed under change, friends, home, humour, poetry, story

Rambling (but not so random) reflections on the way things might be

Darkness is the absence of light.  Evil is the absence of good – or rather of God.

In giving his creatures love, creator God gave his creatures the choice of not-love.  In plucking that fruit from that tree, the creatures sought Me-ness which is, indeed, not-love.  In the way that love is light, not-love is the absence of that light and in the way that love leads to light, to the Light, not-love leads to darkness, to not-light.

Where there is light, there is no room for darkness; where there is love, there can ultimately be no not-love.

Creator God promises to one day reveal the fullness of Light to those who choose Love.  Not only will those who chose not-love not be able to support that Light, neither will that light be able to support its darkness – there will simply be no room.  Darkness is nothingness, light is fullness.  Where there is fullness there can be no nothingness, no not-fullness.

For those who live in Love, who live in Light, they will no longer know not-love or not-light.  Where there is fullness, there can be no nothingness, no not-fullness.  If not-love and not-light are allowed entry, there is not fullness – Love and Light are not full.

One day not-love, not-light and not-fullness will be put away and Love and Light will reign in all His fullness.  And we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

(Oh yeah, oh yeaaahhh)

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Filed under beauty, God, gospel, grace, happiness is, home, Jesus, love, perfect love, perspective, sin

Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Having already rocked this small corner with posts about these things, it would be remiss of me not to pass on the link first found at FaithinIreland to Shored Fragments’s post here about the above subject.  Let me know what you think!

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Filed under bible, church, freedom, gospel, home, men, relationships, women

Homeless

What is it that makes home, home?  Is it the location?  The roof over your head, the bed to sleep in? Is it a certain smell as you open the front door?  Is it the feel of that chair at the end of a hard day? Is it the company; the routine; the familiar faces as you eat your dinner?  Or the conversation; the easy silence as you sit at the table?  Is it familiarity?  Comfort? Safety?

I imagine it is indeed devastating to be without a roof over your head – the loss of somewhere to go at the end of the day.  I don’t mean to make light of it in any way.  But could a sense of homelessness not also come from other circumstances beyond the bricks and mortar?

A child neglected by drunken parents.  An adult orphaned. A wife abused by a violent husband. A mother grieving the loss of her children’s father.  An unmarried pensioner whose friends are too busy with their grandchildren these days.  A younger sister frozen in time in the minds of siblings who moved away.  An older brother who has to clean up his brother’s mistakes.  A grown daughter the only one left living where she grew up.

Some of it is just how life goes.  Paths merge and divide, cross and pass…  Some of it comes through mistakes, some through fault.

But I don’t think its just losing a roof that makes you homeless.

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Filed under home

Food for Thought…

chefhat

It may surprise some of my more familiar readership that I can cook.  I don’t always particularly revel in the task, often chucking some pasta and sauce in the oven does of an evening meal.  But this is one meal I and my (slightly obsessed with ‘pretty’ food) housemate particularly enjoy  having ‘created’ and would greatly recommend you try.  Particularly if you’re a bit cook-lazy like me!  You basically stick it in the oven and do some last minute stir-frying after sitting on your bum for 15 minutes!

Lime & Ginger Salmon parcels with stir-fried chinese veg and noodles for two.

Buy fresh salmon fillets, making each into a foil parcel with a wedge of butter, half the juice of a lime for each, place some shredded ginger on top and finish off with a slice of lime.  Seal the foil parcels and cook in the oven for about 15-20mins at about 200 degrees Celsius.

Stir fry the veg (we cheat and use m&s chinese veg pack inc carrots, babycorn, broccoli, spring onions, mange tout and pakchoi – i suggest that peppers would interfere with the overall flavour-effect,  but each to their own!) in balsamic vinegar and stir in egg-fried noodles and pine nuts. This bit only takes about 5 minutes toward the end of the salmon’s cooking time.

Whack the cooked Salmon on a bed of the noodles and veg and drizzle over the buttery-limey-gingery goodness from the foil parcel.

Serve on piping-hot plates as the stir fry can cool pretty quickly!

And enjoy!

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Filed under creativity, happiness is, home, random