[VIDEO] Jean Vanier speaks on the Big Questions

When someone is loved, they are transformed, reveal to them they are beautiful. This does not happen if you’ve been humiliated and devalued. A really interesting talk ranging across many topics including the Holocaust, and everyday life: discover what it means to be a full human coming from vulnerable/fragile relationships.


#BIGRead14: Love

From: Seed Resources
From: Seed Resources


So, for me, Lent starts today. I had no understanding of Lent before I started working with The Big Read 2010, aside it was something for which people gave something up, and I’m more keen on the idea of taking something up than giving up.

It was 2-3 years ago that I gave up supermarket shopping for Lent (as in any of the big supermarkets) – which has had a long term impact on my shopping habits, and caused me to find more interesting places to shop, and has meant that rather than mindlessly buying random food as I wander round Tesco, I have a better range of food. I did go on several big shops when first I came to Durham from the excitement of having a kitchen all to myself, but that is getting clear now, so can soon start experimenting with more fun foods and new recipes!

Last year I tried to do #notbusy, the basis of was sit still for 10 minutes and do nothing – those of you who know me will know that this is not an easy thing for me .. so this year I’m glad to be able to combine with poem-prayers each day from Stephen Cherry. This is the bit that stood out for me from today’s poem ‘Love‘:

Worthless the effort,
worthless the strain,
worthless the travel,
worthless the cross,
without your love.

Really interesting range of images if you Google ‘art love‘ – and not just romantic love… and check out Wordnik’s definitions.

Ironically, I say I find it hard to do ‘nothing’, but I have slept for around 15 hours out of the last 24, and I think am almost ready for bed again!

From Wednesday I’ll also be looking at Giving It Up with @MaggiDawn, and #bigread14 will start using #Do1NiceThing


#AdventBookClub: Day 7: Sharing Voices


King’s College – the beautiful ‘9 Lessons and Carols‘ – I never knew that it was created to help soldiers, unable to equate the brutality they had seen on the front in the First World War – with what they saw in Church – see the story at the centre of the Christian faith (rather than organisations/Christians – we so often get in the way of Jesus I think!). Last year enjoyed Online Carols 2012 so much, and hoping to see them come to fruition this year! I love the fact that we are looking at Genesis in Advent, and seeing how we pull the whole story together, how we have a longing to be fully whole again … and I am enjoying seeing what others have to say about this book (also on Twitter):

Other #adventbookclub bloggers

I have always been encouraged to hear a range of viewpoints, and uncomfortable with black/white thinking … and remember when Maggi & I spoke together at #CNMAC10 (the first one!) – Maggi encouraged us to find our ‘blogging voices’. I love how the three different resources that I’m reading appear to be weaving together – today Brian Draper encouraged us to think about the vulnerability of love – and see how the song ‘Love Came Down’ is interpreted in these two different ways (same song, completely different engagement):

And then onto Ron Glusenkamp’s material (and I am reading/posting each in turn, rather than looking for a common thread before I write – this is responsive writing, rather than academic writing) ..

We are called by the Spirit to create a place and space where love is the foundation of all that we build together. Love is born anew again and again.

Love enables ordinary people to do extraordinary things, which reminds me, if Brian doesn’t mind, I want to share a little more of his material – where he looks to Brené Brown, Daring Greatly to define love, and the risks that come with it (see her TED talk):

“Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die, or betray us tomorrow – that’s vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And it leaves us emotionally exposed.”

As I head off into a day with friends old and new (we’re going to decorate the Christmas tree) – plenty of thoughts to take with me, and I finish with one from Pam – questioning whether we have ever wanted to hide from God (oh yes):

That point can be the end of the beginning of our relationship with God, but the beginning of an honest one.