Love is a beautiful thing
Love is freeing
Love is safety
Love is comfort
Love is death
Love is life
Love is home
Love is a beautiful thing
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Church history really intrigues me and leaves me with loads of mixed emotions. By church history I mean the timeframe since Jesus ascended into heaven until yesterday. Having been born and raised Pentecostal until I got drawn to the Anglican liturgy and found solace and hope there, I have had a somewhat front row seat into the ‘veiled’ evil and wickedness of man that church leaders have and continue to perpetuate in God’s Name, standing on God’s Word.
I neve cease to be amazed and aghast at how throughout history, church leaders prostituting with the political and wealthy class have colluded to defraud, merchandise and mete violence against their followers and followers of Jesus Christ. Two main reasons for this unholy alliances seem to be the recurring motivation: Money (is it a wonder that the Bible explicitly tells us that the love of money is the root cause of all evil) and Social acceptance (closely intertwined with a desire to maintain the status quo). On this duo alter, throughout church history, church leaders (mostly men) have figuratively and literally set ablaze anyone within the church who dared question them or go against them and their selfish corrupted interests.
To know is to bear a burden
A burden of responsibility
A responsibility to act or not to act
To action the knowledge
To walk away from the knowledge
Mary Magdalene knew who the Lord was
So she anointed Him with precious oil
So she never fled
So she was there at the tomb
So she met with Him
So He entrusted her with a message
On 3rd September 2020, news broke of a woman who had killed herself and her two children (7 and 1 year old) by jumping into Tigoni Dam. The image of this woman’s body floating on the water and the bodies of her two dead children floating beside her broke me. The backstory is that her husband kicked her out of their matrimonial home and when she went to her mother’s house, her mother gave her transport money to go back to her husbands house and talk things over. Instead she went straight to the dam and ended three lives.
I have really been thinking about this woman and what thoughts must have gone through her mind, on the way to her mothers house and from it. My hear breaks for her pain; her mental pain, physical pain, emotional pain, social pain, spiritual pain. I can only imagine what it took for her to end the lives of her children and herself.
As is expected, there was short lived outrage when the story broke out which quickly fizzled out as soon as it had risen and we moved on to the next breaking news. Today, 10th September, is World suicide prevention day. My reflection on female suicide, specifically driven by abuse (mental, physical, social, emotional, spiritual) perpetrated mainly by men.
The enabler culture in my opinion is one that continues to sustain, fuel and grow abuse of women. Think with me for a moment:
Instead men, continue to gather together and celebrate each others abuses (mental, emotional, social, physical, spiritual) of women, their wives and children. Men would rather:
What irks me most about this enabler culture is that they know. Men know when they are abusing women. They do it consciously. They know the effects their abuse (mental, emotional, social, physical, spiritual) has on women and on children. But they still go ahead and do it. Why speak and upset the status quo? Why be different and suffer falling out from the majority way of life? Self-preservation is the bedrock of the enabler culture among men that fuels female suicide.
Women in our homes, women at work, women in the streets & women on social media, tell us every day the violence they endure in our hands as men. They advise what we can do to change. But we opt to stick to our hardened identity to enjoy the delusional promises of patriarchy.
Onyango Otieno (@rixpoet)
As men continue to enable each other in abusing women and children, some unable to bear the burden, the shame, the weight of it all chose the suicide path. Suicide is preventable. The question is, are the enablers willing to take a bow off that stage, dim those lights and chose to hold each to a life valuing standard?
I can only hope . . .
In the meantime, please remember that:
Jesus and the conversation with the Woman from Samaria at the well really captures me. It is recorded in John 4:1-45. I have pictured this scene so many times in my head . . . So I put it down as the convo I picture it as . . .
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.
And he had to pass through Samaria.
So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water.
El-Roi is one of my favourite names of God, if not my favourite.
It is a name given to God by Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. The account is recorded in Genesis 16. Sarah and Abraham and growing old and restless. God seems not to be aware that time is running out on His promise to make them father and mother of nations. So Sarah comes up with he idea that maybe God meant to give them children through another, and her another is Hagar who is her handmaid. Abraham, reminds me of Adam in the garden, goes along with Sarah’s suggestion and sleeps with Hagar.
What comes to you mind when you hear the term ‘Spiritual Formation’?
What image is formed in your mind?
For many people ‘Spiritual Formation’ is a ‘step program’ that they undertook when they believed in the Lord Jesus and made the same confession with their mouths. It is an event not a continuous process. This is tragic to say the least.
. . .Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed . . .
(1 Corinthians 9:10/Isaiah 55:10)
If you ever attended Lightie then you must know this entire Scripture by heart – 1 Corinthians 9:6-11. When I attended church there it was one of those we recited during the giving time. I have loads of precious memories of Lightie so many. And they all came flooding back late last week thanks to my Mother quoting that part of the text up there.
So on Friday (5th June 2020) last week, my mum sent me one of her notorious cryptic messages. Her messages are almost always cryptic. They are so short form, short form has nothing on her. The words have no vowels, the consonants are usually merged together like a forced relationship. In most cases she will write a three line sentence to communicate fifty things and you are expected to decipher and action immediately. This particular message was true to her style and I had just one look at it and growled, why can’t she just write full words! I tried to decipher it and was getting mixed up and not understanding most of it. There was however one part of it that was very clear, I was to send some amount of money to a certain Child of God. I was busy trying to beat a deadline on something so I put that message in the ‘to do list’ at the back of my head.