Lily, a pastor’s wife from Indonesia was sobbing quietly. She and her husband with their two young children have moved to an isolated part of Java to plant a new church. It is an exciting time for her husband, but she feels left out – she has to spend all her time establishing their new … Continue reading Can you hear the voices of these women?
My mum, Lenore Claire, coming up to her 92nd birthday, had a mini stroke 10 weeks ago that set in motion a spiral (ever downwards) of changes in her life – from overworked but determined provider and homemaker for my 94 year old dad, to a ‘client’ in a nursing home. Mum has cared full-time … Continue reading Legacy of quiet service
I love art galleries – wandering in the muted light and stillness, amazed by the liveliness or colour or beauty of an artist’s imagination. My favourite places are the small gems – the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, the Frick in NY, or the glory of the Frank Lloyd Wright room at the Met. Or places like … Continue reading A non-passive madonna
I’m fascinated and appalled by the way many people still like to stereotype women and girls as either pure goodness or immoral seductress. In a rape trial last week in Ireland, the defence barrister (a woman) asked the teenage victim to hold up her lace underpants worn on the night of the attack. The implication … Continue reading God’s police
Another week of revelations about abuse and cover-up in the Church. Pope Francis visits Ireland last week and the topic on everyone’s lips was unfortunately sexual abuse. Everyone who admired Willow Creek Church in Chicago, which has influenced thinking about effective church growth for a generation of evangelicals, has been stunned by allegations of sexual harassment … Continue reading An Open Wound
Niceness is an under-rated quality – it tends to be associated with tepid talent and muted colour. The definition of nice (see the Oxford Dictionary) is positive, “Pleasant, satisfying or attractive.” But modern usage also hints at blandness – a nice meal is OK but will not leave you raving. I want to revive the … Continue reading A backlash of civility
You would think that all women would be united in seeing prostitution as exploitation – it is wrong for women to sell their bodies to strangers for sex.
A friend confessed to me the other day how hard it is to be an ethical clothes shopper. “So many pitfalls even when I am trying to do the right thing.” I sympathise with her dilemma. The more you know about clothes – who makes them, how the fashion cycle works, the environmental impact – … Continue reading Shop till we all drop
There is an increasingly loud voice of secularism in the West which rejects all religion as at best, irrelevant and at worst, dangerously intolerant extremism. Certainly, Stephen Hawking, the physicist famous for his insights and intellect who passed away this month, thought God was an invention we no longer needed. Rightly influential as a scientist … Continue reading What has religion ever done for me?
‘Leaning’ is just as important for men as it is women – leaning on God’s understanding of issues, being a leader who is confident enough to ask questions of others and listen to their wisdom.