Archive for February, 2012

The kindness of strangers…..

This morning, after a particularly challenging few days, I felt the warmth and compassion of a stranger. This stranger existed in the form of a lady selling medicine at the chemist. She has seen me trudge in and out through the winter collecting various drugs and antibiotics for different members of the family and she smiled.

I looked up at her and realised she’d seen snippets of my life, just the moments when I have asked her what needs to be taken and when, what might boost the immune system and she has offered advice and kindness over the months. Although not a complete stranger, this lady knows nothing of my life outside the four walls of the chemist except that it has been challenging.

She smiled as though she knew me and for a moment it was like greeting an old friend but she doesn’t know me, she is just an exceptionally kind and warm-hearted woman and I thank God for her. As I drove home I asked him to prompt me to be able to show that same kindness to strangers that I meet, to be kind to people whose lives I don’t know about besides an encounter at the supermarket or with the homeless man on the street selling papers.

I thank God today for the kindness of strangers, it means more to me than they will ever know.



English: Lent, church Nederlands: Lent, kerk


It began with Jesus being anointed by the Spirit and affirmed by God as he is baptised by John and ended with complete triumph over temptation and, ultimately, Evil.

How did he defeat the devil? By the word of God alone.

What I find interesting is that God says, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” As soon as Jesus has been filled with the Spirit and affirmed by God the devil launches an attack. He offers Jesus some of our most basic desires, food, protection and recognition.

Jesus’ defence?

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

As we begin Lent I usually think about the sacrifice of Jesus fasting for 40 days and ponder the things which people give up during this time before we celebrate his resurrection and, in turn, our salvation. This year, though, a different thought strikes me, a realisation that, firstly, the Devil will strike when God has affirmed or directed us or set us on a path and, secondly, that our only defence is to stand on the word of God. We need to be steeped in scripture to be able to hold up our shields to deflect the arrows which come towards us.


And finally, our basic desires and needs can only be met through his word, his armour, and his kingship.





I really enjoying painting and although I haven’t created anything for a while I enjoy the process of painting. At first you start with a blank canvas, then you lay down the background colours with no image in sight. It looks sludgy and messy to begin with. Gradually you build up the layers until an image starts to take shape. Then the detail is added and the specifics start to appear. It is a long but rewarding process and takes time. As far as I can see no two paintings are the same but they often reflect the nature of the painter.

When God designs us he creates us in his image as a reflection of his beauty. He gives us colour, shape, form, vibrancy. He creates us to be someone specific with a unique set of gifts and abilities. He loves what he has made and revels in the blessing this is to others, the blessing we are to others. We are never the same as someone else and the picture people see when they look at each of us and our lives is unique. You are God’s creation designed in his image.


العربية: Splined canvas. Català: Llenç reforça...


13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139


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