The Blanket: Comfort from the Cold

As the sun sets and the last embers of its warmth fades, so is ushered in a chill breeze. It goes from a breeze to an unrelenting battering against the body. The shudders makes it clear that this is not welcoming weather.

Yet there is a welcome ally. The blanket.

Wrapped up tight around you, it’s not just the warmth that is offered, there is familiarity in the comfort. Shaped against the contours. Snug and roomy, long and close. It is with you and it is for you. As you wrap yourself up in it, so the external forces are kept at bay.

You find relieving comfort from the cold.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Plant: Fragile to Flourish

There it is. The first signs of growth. Bursting through the soil reaching tentatively to the sun.

There are so many factors going against it. What if there are is an adverse climate? What if the surroundings are made hostile? Perhaps a rodent or pest may trample it down before it ever has a chance to really get to its fullness. There is no guarantee that it will survive from day to day.

Yet, somehow, despite the factors going against it, it does not just survive, it thrives. Adapting to its environment, drawing nourishment and strength from within and it’s roots, that fragile looking plant slowly but surely finds its place and flourishes. It is a beautiful sight that did not happen overnight and was not always meant to happen, but from deep down within it flourishes from the inside out and its flourishing is a blessing to those who see it for what it is and how it has got there.

It’s flourishing may last but a brief time, but the ripple effects may last way past its time on earth.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Kettle: Patient Passion

The kettle.

It contains water. Water that is in the process of going from one temperature to another. The state of the water previously was not good enough for the task required. The final state of the water will reach will be perfect for the task. You just need to raise the heat over time. In the suitable container that process can take place to the benefit of those who need the hot water.

Some people like it hot. Some people need it hot. Where are the kettles who can take the heat to deliver the goods?

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

How The Story Goes

It can come across as rather presumptuous to think you know how the story goes. After all, what makes you think you know. Who are you anyway? What do you know?

So at best it’s good to just let the story tell the story and not get involved in things you know nothing about.

That’s one approach.

But consider what’s happening in the story – the mess ain’t getting any tidier for all the pleasant sentiments, for all the outrage, for all the campaigns, for all the innovations. The mess might be glorified better, it might come across as more sophisticated, it might be justified as a part of the way things are or the way things must be. All of that, however, does nothing to deal with the mess.

Some might give the impression that the mess is all there is and we just have to get accustomed to it. Make the best of the messy situation.

Ahhhh but in as much as that works for some, it is not how the story goes. Someone lived in a way that showed there’s a better story to be told.

So the mess in me, the mess in my community, the mess in the church, the mess that is the world – it does not have to be that way.

That’s not how the story goes.

There’s a better story to tell – want to hear it? Want to write the next chapter in it? I got this idea for a project and what happens is …

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Can You See Progress?

I love Steve.

He is among the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Great, because he is a man of integrity. He values the truth, he doesn’t take rubbish. His generosity has benefited many and he is humble enough never to make a big deal of it at all. His commitment to his family is something that still fills me with tears of admiration.

Steve is also a Liverpool fan reaffirming what a great human being he is!

It’s our shared love of Liverpool Football Club that remains one of the best things ever. I love it. I love our conversations and his insights on football and all things about the club we admire so much.

One thing that Steve and I are usually agreed on is that Steve is right. It takes much for me to actually go out of my way to suggest that Steve may not have it completely correct.

What did I disagree with him about? Well …

Ahhhhhhh you don’t wanna know. What you do want to know is that it’s good when you can see progress. I mean really see it.

You see, we live in a world that is good at marketing and spinning. So appearances are made and crafted in a bid to give a particular story, even if that story is not true. You tell that story suggestively enough and persistently enough and people believe it. Which, when you strip it all away, is people believing a lie.

Some are suckered into believing in progress for a lot of superficial platitudes. So convenient facts are highlighted and trumpeted, where not so pertinent truths are dismissed or neglected. Tragically leaving people sticking to something that was dead a long time ago, but they are persuaded to endure because of clever marketing.

Meanwhile it is good to actually see things for what they are. When you see progress, despite the opposition and challenging circumstances, it is good to recognise it for what it is, especially if it is that progress that can keep you going.

So can you see progress? Is it really there?

Meanwhile Steve was probably right. Probably.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

In Meetings …

Meetings can get a bad reputation. For being long, for the arguments, for the lack of things done, for a lot of talk without much action, for the malaise that can set in and a whole host of valid issues that hampers a meeting. As a result some prefer not to attend them or brace themselves for what they are about to receive in the same way you brace yourself before the dentist gets on with the root canal.

This does not have to be the case.

Recently I closed my eyes and asked God to show me what a good meeting can look like. No sooner had I asked than I sat in on a good example of a good meeting. Prepared, yes, but also flexible and desirous to get harmony through different elements contributing in a focused manner. Though time is not the be all and end all, the sensitivity to be timely in contributions leads to that place where people are free to share and very careful to give others space.

It’s no surprise that after these kinds of meetings, folks are quick to recall how harmoniously things went. It can happen. It’s just to be in line with others. Be ready to consult with the people who can help.

It can happen.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden