Wanting to Belong

Wanting to Belong

This.

Also, the photos are of where I live.

I’m shifting away from my desire to be a neuropsychologist. As I read more about addiction and mental health through my studies, and especially Dennis Cardiff’s amazing blog, I am increasingly drawn to this area of work. There aren’t many visible homeless people in Dunedin (there, I’ll stop being coy, I live in Dunedin NZ, ok? You still don’t know my address, right?) but according to another Otago Uni student they’re out there.

I stopped being scared of ‘crazy’ people in phases, partly chatting with a schizophrenic who would often come into the bookshop where I was on the counter, partly working with a client with a TBI at an activities centre for adults with disabilities (I was a music tutor), and partly getting to know some of the regulars who would pop in to the Hospital Chapel for a cuppa (I was the administrator). Now I’m itching to get back to working with the ‘crazies’, in a more directly useful capacity, but in the mean time I plan to use some of my free time next year (hey, I’m only writing a thesis, right? That’ll be easy compared to doing papers! Yes? Right?) to help out a bit at the local free health clinic. I think they need drivers at the moment.

By the way, please be assured that I do not think of the people I mentioned above, whom I know and chat with, as ‘crazies’. I think of them as people, and I know the things they care about and are interested in, and talk about those things. I use the word affectionately as a convenient way of describing the unconventional folks who are familiar figures walking the streets of Dunedin (my twin brother may be classed as one by the people who don’t know him but recognise him by his beard, hat and bare feet, and who is not at all crazy) and who have become part of the background of my life.

Awesome little movie

Awesome little movie

My son (known here as Mr 10) entered a short film competition at our church, with the awards ceremony last Saturday evening.  Their film, “Shrinking: The Movie” was nominated for six awards and won just one additional one … BEST PICTURE. You know, the supreme award. Because they were overall good at, like, everything.

He is 10, I said before, I think. One other film was made by high-schoolers and all the rest by university students and young adults.

And we won. 

Can you feel the glow of pride that’s still radiating?

We need your help now, though. There’s a people’s choice award, which we’d quite like to win as well. Please follow the link above, “like” the YouTube movie, and share it with all your friends. You won’t regret it! And you’ll make a bunch of kids very happy.

Thanks heaps. 🙂

Why It’s Hard to Believe Abortion is Wrong

Why It’s Hard to Believe Abortion is Wrong.

A really good post by a Catholic writer who was recently Freshly Pressed. I have always believed that abortion is wrong, and have only recently realised that as the daughter of a man who could be described as a “rape baby” I have personal as well as logical reasons to believe it.

And yet, I don’t do anything about abortion’s prevalence, apart from occasionally get into arguments with people. The thought of those seven holocausts a year sickens me, but so do my country’s child abuse and youth suicide statistics, and I don’t feel like I can do anything much about those either.

I feel a certain amount of pressure to write something “awesome” after my blog being so described by someone far too kind (here), and I’ve been thinking a lot about what he’s been writing about lately too. It’s true that there is an awful lot of evil and injustice in the world, and the Church needs to be responding to it. But is it the Church’s job to take on these problems head on (spending funds only on benefitting the poor and needy while pastors work as volunteers and the congregation all take turns at preaching)? Or is that up to specific organisations or groups connected with the Church – and us individual members – while the Church fulfils the mission of introducing people to Christ and helping us to mature in Him?

If we all, and I mean ALL, everyone in the whole world, believed in and were transformed by the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit working in us, that would solve ALL the problems. ALL THE THINGS!!! It’s not a cop-out, or a numbers game. It’s our Mission. As we work towards it, each of us makes the lives around us a little better, and the future a little brighter, and maybe brings a few more friends into the fold, and they start to make the lives around them a little brighter…

I’ve started from one person’s blog post and ended up answering another’s, which is probably bad etiquette or something. I have to confess that my blog is mostly stream-of-consciousness (which is never going to get me Freshly Pressed…) and here you see perhaps a little further into my soul than I intended. Ambitious, insecure, defensively self-deprecating…

Also I like ending sentences with three dots…

But God loves me anyway. And you. A lot.

Even, even, if you spell it alot.

Linguistic musing

Quite often I wish English had the equivalent of the Russian word “a”. It is a kind of “and” that means “kind of and and kind of but”… “and, in contrast”… “and, on the other hand”… It’s a bit like “while”, but not quite. Wouldn’t that be useful?

What words do you think English is missing?

Us and them

I had a revelation last Sunday. I was singing in the choir for a friend’s ordination to the Anglican priesthood. There was incense. There was liturgy. There was lots and lots of heartbreakingly beautiful music. And as I was singing it, I was thinking, “Ha, at least believe what I’m singing.” You know, like that post I posted a little while ago?

And then I think God slapped me round the back of the head. “How the heck do you know,” He said, “that everyone else here doesn’t believe it too? Yes, INCLUDING all those other choir members over there who make risqué jokes and live together OUT OF WEDLOCK.”

“Um,” I said, “you know, I actually don’t.”

“And,” He said, “I suppose you never do anything wrong, like them.

“Um,” I said, “touché.”

“Remember that bit,” He said, “about ‘In Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female’?”

“Yeah…”

“How about, no Anglican or Apostolic, gay-marriage-supporting or non-supporting, liberal or conservative?

“In fact, how do you know if someone is ‘In Christ’ or not? Only I know that. Therefore, this applies to EVERYONE.

“You ready for this?”

(Actually, God didn’t say that bit. I just need a dramatic pause before the punchline.)

“THERE IS NO THEM. THERE IS ONLY US.”

I was rendered literally breathless by the force of this revelation. It’s probably old hat to some of you who’ve been close to Jesus for longer than I have, or who are just smarter than me.

There is no right-wing and left-wing. There are people who, like me, care about their children’s future, and about the health of those worse off. There is no rich and poor. There are people who, like me, have food to eat every day, and people who, like me, worry about how to afford all the things their family needs. There is no gay and straight. There are people who, like me, can’t always help loving people they can’t ever be with, and people who, like me, are blessed to have someone wonderful to live and share a bed with.

I am absolutely NOT saying there is no sin. But sinners, like me, sin. And try to do better next time. Or, like me, don’t.

I feel like a different person, on the inside. Let’s see if it makes a difference on the outside.