Monthly Archives October 2015

Oct 23, 2015

God Breathed

God Breathed

the beginning
merely void;
before was naught –
after, was all.
God breathed;
created light
for velvet night
and perfect day.
Cold winds blew,
then ebbed away.
Before was gloom –
after – was gold.
Life began; God breathed
then came man.
from rib, woman.
God foretold
that all who wait,
for those that will,
shall be complete
from then – until.
But they did eat,
Now we wait
‘till all’s complete,
we wait. Until?
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Oct 17, 2015

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

(Before)
What is life?
I turned to look and found that life was – what?
A path on which I wandered, back and forth?
Where was life?
When would I begin to see the reason why?
Were my “doings” right or wrong? Or –
Were they right for me, but wrong for others?
Were others the reason for this life, or me?
Life seemed to leave me drifting
In a bubble without light.
No blues or greens, shades of red
Just opaque nothing – fish-eye dead.
I called, “Life – where are you?
What are you? Who are you?
Can you make my life worthwhile –
So I may make a life of worth of others”

 

(much later…)
Life – I knew not, where, what,
Or who you were.
I searched and searched and searched –
Until one day, a stranger said to me,
“ ‘The Man of Life, once said,
‘I am the Way,
The Truth
The Life.’ ”

I knew at last, at last I knew
That Jesus was the Life –
He laid down His life –
That I might lay down mine – for you!

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Oct 17, 2015

Overwhelmed By Your Love

GK-Cloud of witnessesOur very dear friends,
This photograph shows how I have stored your card amongst the many loving messages on email, phone and direct to my ‘old’ ears, that I have received since September 17. They hang on the circular staircase that leads to my study upstairs. I hope to keep them there for as long as is seemly and not maudlin!
For the record this is where we hang our Christmas and Birthday Cards…it has been a not very serious bone of contention between Treena and I that she always had at least triple the number that I received! These cards now belong to us both. Your love for Treena is so clear and such a blessing. Your love for me has touched me more deeply than I can say and I continue to be moved to tears over such loving concern. I miss her greatly, there is so little of my life that I lived without knowing and loving her.
If you get our new book ‘Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world’ you will find that, more than anything else, it is our love story and how God’s love for us both, made it all not only possible but also so utterly beautiful.
Heading upstream as I climb the stairs to the study, flanked by your love on every side…..
Graham
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Oct 10, 2015

Plod goes so well with Blog

I said that I would now blog my way upstream without my beloved Treena at my side but now I find it more like…plod!

I am told, by many good friends, that this too shall pass and that I shall, once again, feel the white waters dashing against my face as I venture forth from this deep green pool of waiting for the tears to cease.

I am not much good for the race ahead at this time but I am confident that I shall once again see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

This I have embraced. God allows me to experience being empty and falling so that there is more room for his love.

“In falling we can be caught, in being empty we can be filled. It is a vulnerable way of living” – Terry Tripp.

From the pool of promised peace…….

Graham.

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Oct 05, 2015

Treena…the love of my life.

TreenaA great many of you have been concerned about Treena and have reached out to me over the past two weeks with such loving kindness and support.

Let me put it in her words, because it is so much like her. “I am going to have tea and eggs with Jesus”.

At 2016 hours PST on 17 September 2015, she left with that intent.

A little background may help. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any ‘man’ hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and have ‘tea and eggs’ with her and she with me.” (TREENA’S version with, hopefully, the LORD’S permission)

As I write this it is almost two weeks since I find myself alone in almost exactly 60 years. I am now aware of how much of my thinking and caring life has been wrapped up in her.  I have loved this extraordinary woman since I was eleven years of age, when we met at school in England. There is very little to remember about my life that does not include her.

As a result there is a HUGE gap and a feeling of being ’empty’ and at the same time as though I am ‘falling’. Our shared faith allows me to prayerfully ask to be both ‘filled’ and ‘caught’.  For this to happen, I believe, will take time that cannot be rushed.

And so I wait in the strong belief that I too will see the ‘goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’.

The end of a life has a wonderful way of drawing attention to the issues that really matter to us as individual humans and to set aside things of mere passing distraction. I hope to be able to focus a good deal of my remaining life trying to understand how best to live beyond my own immediate self-interest. I do hope to do this in the company of others who feel, as Treena did, that this is a great need in our troubled world.

You are welcome to join me as I ‘blog’ my way upstream in search of resilience for all creation.

It’s a common good that we can do in common.

Thank you for your love…Upstreaming on purpose.

Graham.

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Oct 02, 2015

The Last Word

and blog post

“Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world” and TREENA’S new book of poetry were both completed, ready for the printer, on Labor Day 2015. We looked at each other and smiled at two jobs that we felt we had done quite well.

“It is finished!” we cried in unison.

The very next day Treena was scheduled for minor day surgery from which we expected she would recover rapidly enough to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary with all our children on September 22.

Sadly, this was not to be.

It began with a simple infection that became full-blown pneumonia that was so rapid that a ventilator was used to help her breathe whilst the antibiotics did their work.

The prognosis was mixed and we had to consider two tracks to the future.

In one we would choose a day and time with a very tender and loving palliative care team, and gather about her as they removed the support ventilator and then watch as she went to “sleep” (see 1 Thessalonians 4:14 NIV)

On the other path she would pull through and be able, after a couple of days rehab, to return home. Hour by hour we wrestled with what would Treena want. We were all trying to live beyond our own immediate interest, which was powerfully wanting her to live.

On the morning of 16 September she took the decision into her own hands and awakened out of her drug assisted sleep and yanked the tube out of her throat…breathing on her own after a full three days on the machine.

Within a couple of hours she was able to speak and then began a 36 hour gift of radiant life to everyone who entered her room; family, friends, nurses, doctors, janitorial staff, not one single soul was overlooked…she chatted, smiled, hugged, sat up and made us all laugh with her infectious joy.

At one point she announced, without any hesitation, “Jesus and me are going to have a cup of tea together…tea and eggs!” She was clearly excited about the prospect.

She was interested in all our lives, wanting the best for us and recalling some small issues that were really personal and hardly pressing…yet wonderfully warming to have had her remember us so individually.

She left nobody out.  She lived in that splendid outgoing giving of herself until the last hour, with only 30 minutes sleep in that day and a half of happiness. What a gift!

As the reader of our story you will have become aware of most of the ways in which she lived her life. It was not an easy journey but she certainly lived it to the full and her not being by my side has opened up an enormous space.

I am writing this just one week after her final breath and my emotions are still both raw and unpredictable. She called me “The bestest husband in all the world”. That was her opinion so I didn’t argue…she was, for me, the love of my life and will remain in that place forever.

Not exactly a Hollywood ending but then, we were not exactly a Hollywood couple.

It’s enough for us that the leaves of the trees may clap their hands as we both close the book on this Rite Of Passage we call human life.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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