A Season of Blessing: For the Anxious

Anxiety has been gnawing at me lately. It particularly loves the 4 a.m. time slot. Then, like vultures circling above a kill, the anxious thoughts loop around and around and around my mind. I can generally shake them off during the course of the day, but they return before the crack of dawn to wake me up with their intrusive clamouring. Continue reading

A Season of Blessing: For the Lonely

‘All the lonely people; Where do they all come from? All the lonely people; Where do they all belong?’ These lyrics are from the 1966 Beatles song Eleanor Rigby, which became known as ‘the lament for the lonely’.

More than fifty years later, loneliness besets our society as never before. Statistics reveal that more and more people consider themselves lonely. One study I came across said that half of Britons over the age of 65 consider their television or pet their main source of company. And loneliness, particularly amongst the elderly, has increased during the corona crisis, as people are forced into isolation. Continue reading

A Season of Blessing: For the Young

This week, as we observed Youth Day in South Africa, I asked myself the question: what kind of world will we bequeath to our children?

The world we leave behind

In many parts of the world our generation has not succeeded. We have not made great strides towards eliminating unemployment. We have not built adequate systems to uplift and educate the poor or care for the vulnerable in our society. We have not done enough to protect our natural resources. We have not eradicated religious intolerance and extremism. Many of the leaders we elect are selfish, corrupt and unconcerned with anything other than their own power and prestige. Continue reading

A Season of Blessing: For Those who Grieve

How are we to respond to the loss, sorrow and grief that swirls around us right now?

I’ll be honest, I have often tried to shut out grief. When my father died at the end of 2018, I put on a ‘brave face’, trying to ignore the raw wound in my heart. I also have a tendency to shy away from other people’s grief, avoiding making calls or visiting a friend in the wake of a loss or tragedy. But this is not the vulnerable, courageous and engaged life God calls us to. Continue reading

A Season of Blessing: Rekindling a Lost Art

Bless you, we say as someone sneezes. God bless, we hurriedly scrawl on a birthday card. Blessings, we sometimes breezily sign off an email to a friend. In my own culture, the concept of a blessing has lost its deep and profound meaning through such daily overuse of the word. Some cultures and traditions still retain the sense of power in a blessing. In this blog series, I hope to rekindle the ‘lost art of blessing’. The world is caught in the grip of fear, grief and upheaval. The covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage nations. In the USA, the callous murder of George Floyd by a white policemen has led to angry protests, unrest and deep division. Our world has never needed blessings more. So I invite you: together, let’s make this a season of blessing. Continue reading

My Tapestry of Women

woman weavingToday has me thinking about the women in my life. Other than two significant men—my husband and father—my life is a rich tapestry of relationships with women. There’s my mother of course, that strong thread of gold woven throughout my life. My sister’s thread appeared often in the earlier parts of the tapestry—sometimes slightly dark and knotty. Now it appears less often, but has transformed into the warm, welcoming colours of familiarity and friendship. My daughters’ threads are light and lovely—the colour of sky, sea and hope. They intertwine playfully with the vibrant swirls of my nieces’ threads. Continue reading