How close is poverty?

[This first appeared on the KingsgateChurch.org website in September 2014] When I was thirteen years old I used to bake really large chocolate cakes every Monday evening. Our church hosted a meal for those who were homeless in the area and I got to make dessert for them! I’d head out every week and sit…

This will be my worship.

Someone once said that to write well you have to write what you know. Well, this is what I know…  Sometimes worship comes through gritted teeth and crying eyes, through tired breath and legs that shake as they stand. It’s not the care-free dance or the light-hearted shout, it’s the power of a mind deciding…

Fight with love.

I was talking with a friend a few weeks back and—much to her amusement—I came out with, “the problem is, I have a lot of very strong opinions about everything”. It was funny, but it was also true. I’m an idealist—and a fairly stubborn one at that. Just try telling me that something can’t be…

Can we rethink poverty?

I’ve worked in the development sector for nearly seven years. People talk to me about “the poor” a lot. You know, that homogenous mass of people who don’t have what we have. The unfortunate ones. We talk about “the poor” and very quickly it becomes us and them. Us, the rich. Them, the poor. I…

Living in a lifeboat.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I catch myself valuing people more for how they make me feel than simply for who they are; I can be guilty of enjoying what I get from them more than what I give. It happens a little too often, if I’m honest. Occasionally I might get it…

Dream bigger little girl.

I think I was about 11 years old when I told my daddy that I really wanted to have a wendy-house in the back-garden. In usual parent/child fashion we went back and forth for a while with our reasons why it was or wasn’t a good idea. I honed my negotiation skills early on and…

Peace and Smiles

I feel like I’m sitting down at a piano I haven’t played for years (and mum would point out that I actually haven’t played my piano for years). It’s only been a few months since I last wrote some thoughts down, but things feel different right now. Over the last three years there’s been something…

Ghana

A week in Ghana is really not long enough, I don’t want to leave. But I came here with a mind cluttered with thoughts and stresses and will return home with slightly more simplicity, so for that I am grateful. I hope it lasts. What strikes me most as I start the long drive back…

Easter Wonderings

Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. I know this to be only too true of life. Two years ago, on the Easter weekend of 2009, I was sitting on the side of a road in Zimbabwe.  I was crying out for justice to be done and feeling pretty angry…

It’s just God being God.

Every now and again God does something really profound. Sunday was one of those days. Things haven’t exactly been as easy as pie these last few months. I’ve handed in my notice at work and while I now have an interim plan to keep me from being entirely job-less, there’s still a big question of…

Hope

— Reflection I shared at Staff Prayers — It’s Wednesday morning, for most of us there is more of the week ahead of us than there is behind us. Some of you may have been working for a couple of hours already today, some of you may be appreciating the delay staff prayers offers to…

The Problem of Pain

I’ve been reading C.S Lewis’ “The problem of pain” while I’ve been away. (Yes Nate, I did borrow it from your bookshelf!) For the last few years, after dealing with mum being ill and also after following a lot of what has been happening in Zimbabwe, I feel like I have intensely wrestled with the…