Seek, Desire, Find, Love

by Claire Vorster on April 15, 2014

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Chief Seattle, Native American, 1854


Wild animals do not show up on cue. They do not keep time by the minute, neither do they check off dates on their Roman calendars.

Tourists are different. They do show up on cue. They breakfast, collect their suncream, their baseball caps and their cameras, get into taxis or tour buses and this is how they arrive. Expecting that wild animals will be there. Ready for action. To put on a show.

If the wild animals do happen to turn up, the tourists will point and coo, click and record. If they are hunters, they may allow themselves to dream a little and point their cameras as if they were lining up for the kill. Another one bagged.

But here’s a tip. If you really want to see a wild animal, go where the tourists are not. Or wait quietly, like the animals often do, until the tourists have gone. Wait like a mother waits for her baby, knowing that life is there and will reveal itself when it is ready.

Wait like a father waits for his daughter to come home from the Prom, or like a snowdrop waits for Spring.

If you wait like this, you will slow to a different time. You will begin to understand that we are not King, Creator or even Director but part of something much wider, deeper – wonderous in fact. You will feel your baseball cap come off, your camera drop and your head bow. In worship.

We have been given so much. We have been given place on this rich earth, with its sun and moon, oceans and rivers, and everything else that has breath. We can push and pull this earth, we can demand more of some things and less of everything else. But we are simply gossamer threads, our days are counted out in minutes and our time allotted by check marks on a Roman Calendar.

We are not King, Creator or even Director. But we are loved. And the Creator waits for us, like a Mother for a baby or a Father for his beloved child. He waits for us to finally slow, to notice something much wider, deeper – wonderous in fact. Until we drop the pretense of knowing, for the joy of being known. For worship.

Prayer of St Anselm

O Lord my God.
Teach my heart this day
where and how to find you.

You have made me and re-made me,
and you have bestowed on me
all the good things I possess,
and still I do not know you.

I have not yet done
that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek you,
for I cannot seek you
unless you teach me,
or find you
unless you show yourself to me.

Let me seek you in my desire;
let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you;
let me love you when I find you.

He believes in you.


Out of the Ordinary

by Claire Vorster on March 10, 2014

 ”We can’t fall any further, If we can’t feel ordinary love, And we cannot reach any higher, If we can’t deal with ordinary love.” from Ordinary Love by U2

love_Sean Rogers

Ordinary love. How can love be ordinary? Surely love is felt deeply, passionately, all fizz and flutter. Love normally inspires lofty reach-for-the-sky lyrics doesn’t it?

“Your love has lifted me higher than I’ve ever been lifted before.” Otis Redding

Oh yeah. Nothing earthly or dull about this kinda love. Love that is above it all, floating along with the hot air balloons, the  laughter of tiny children and on eagles’ wings.

“Love is all you need.” Lennon/McCartney

So easy. Just do it. Be the love you want to see.

Ordinary never wins any prizes. You get Oscars for supremely talented, nobody has ever won an Oscar for ordinary. Ordinary is all about making sure your kid has a clean shirt for school, getting home dog-tired and making dinner, calling someone who always makes you feel a little bit worse just so that they can have an opportunity (which they probably won’t take) to love someone.

Ordinary is being on the back row of the choir rather than the one with the microphone, cleaning up after everyone else has gone home, walking it out rather than running for cover. Day in, day out smiling at a stranger, encouraging when you are anything but encouraged, sticking at it, thick and thin, sick bowls, toilets and counting out someone else’s medicine.

It’s not getting your own way, not seeing the change you long to see, not making all your personal dreams come true. It’s about failing and getting back up, taking the hit so that someone else doesn’t have too. Ordinary is this kind of love,

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13 v4-7, The Message

Ordinary love finds the one person no one else sees and says ‘yes, you!’ Ordinary love can be found sweating it out on a hungry, tired, dusty, dry day with people who either think you are mad, wrong or deluded. The same people who will come to hate you and everything you stand for so much that they plot will your death, and not just any old death but the most painful death that they have ever invented.

“I can’t fight you anymore, it’s you I’m fighting for.” from Ordinary Love by U2

Ordinary love. Typical, familiar, humdrum, routine, standard, monotonous, tedious. The best kind there is.

“We lose interest and give up when we have no vision, no encouragement, and no improvement, but only experience our everyday life with its trivial tasks. The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God.” from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Ordinary love. Not just any old thing, is it?

He believes in you.

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When All Shall Be Well

February 25, 2014

“No matter what happens, no matter how many times you fail, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” 66 Love Letters by Dr. Larry Crabb It’s not all well now is it? I’m sure some things are OK for you and for those you love, as they are for this […]

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“It’s completely natural when something goes wrong, when you fail life or life fails you, to want to know what to do rather than how to think. You scramble, you churn, you try to come up with some plan of action that will control the damage, relieve the discomfort, and restore some level of personal […]

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Consider All

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“I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77 v12, NIV Yet Will I Praise You Lord When all time stands still, When the wind blows ill, When the rains dry up and fail, When no end is near, When no one can hear, yet will I praise You […]

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Until The Son

January 1, 2014

Jesus Himself had only 12 followers. And He lost one. Ann Voskamp Until The Son Pride builds in tall towers of glass and metal, I will be, I am, I must have, I am not, I will not. Hard labour on, Not good enoughs Not enough, Until the Son is lost, Behind the glare of […]

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Angel Falls

December 26, 2013

‘God has given you a child’s book, and an alphabet, in which you may learn the first rough letters of what heaven is.’ Charles Spurgeon, The Sympathy of the Two Worlds Angel Falls Come you Prisoner locked in chains, Who’ll never feel the sun again, Come you Friend with heart so strong, Who could never […]

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Make Peace – A Christmas Activity

December 15, 2013

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” Nelson Mandela Show and Tell. When it comes to making peace, show wins hands down. Because it doesn’t matter how much I tell you I want peace, real peace only comes when I show […]

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December 9, 2013

‘God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.’  St. Augustine Somebody forgot her.  Before that they had named her Nava which means Beautiful but they forgot her anyway.  In the early days she was a tumble of wildflower hair, street smart and bright as a button.  She learned how to […]

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December 2, 2013

“Don’t be disturbed today by thoughts about tomorrow; leave tomorrow alone, and bank in confidence on God’s organizing of what you do not see.” Oswald Chambers, from Run Today’s Race B. You know where you are with a b. Beautiful, busy, buzzy, bee. But Y? That’s a whole different ball game. Take a closer look […]

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