Monthly Archives: September 2016

Loneliness

 

Two musings on loneliness…

THE PAINTER

The old man was alone.
Ninety per cent of his life.

He painted.
He painted for himself.
Who else could he paint for?
Nobody around.

His brush holding hand
stretched
toward his watercolour paper

He paused.

He laid in his first two strokes
and another
and another

He paused again…

What an individual.

Closed-in behind the walls
of his own making

Closed in behind the walls
that others erected
against him

He painted…
he kept on painting
his watercolours

Like an old machine – sputtering
and ticking over
but not actually ramped up
to accomplish the job

wound down
ticking over
ticking over

his cup was full
of ticking over

wound down as a human being
no interchange with his fellows

Just an old man now

with
his cat and his watercolours

Brush filled with colour

the colour of his life
flowing together
blending together
wet into wet
dry-brush
glittering across the page.

Painting after painting
shown to no one
hoarded
stacked
becoming tea mats

never good
never bad
never average
never genius

The old man
still standing.

Out at night for groceries.
In all day.
Out in his yard
no one to be seen.

The old man
the old recluse

only his paper
only his paint
only his cat

only his yard.

Undiscovered
never missed

alone.

 

LONELINESS

Loneliness is defined as sadness
because one has no friends or company

.…………………………………………………

But let’s just pause there. You are in the world I am in,
Yes, I know, a world of shortcomings and sin
But there are multitudes of folks around you too
Just like I see them pass me, as they walk through…

To their place of destination – work, rest, or play
Is there no one – for you to engage,
nothing you have to say?

How come they pass you by when you are lonely inside?
Shout “Heh! Come over here and abide”

“I’m only asking for a little conversation” – that’s what you should say.

Cause after all – you’ve only got all day.

If you are lonely – you must have time to be,
So stir your mind, legs and feet and go forth to meet

Anyone who is in reach…policeman, bus driver, vegetable man on the street, waiter at your seat, traffic warden – (now that’s unique…)

What about a window cleaner, road sweeper, tourist geek, fireman sam, workman plastering a wall, scaffolder or juvenile delinquent?

Baker, Quaker, candlestick maker, dog walker, Park Ranger, Gardener or Refuse taker.

My…so many to greet
But you are lonely still.

Is it that you don’t get out much?
Well there’s always the phone…
Maybe you are indoors and bed-ridden,
I will give you a ring – bring you cake
(if by you – I am bidden)

Anyway my contribution doesn’t seem much, not being mixed with ‘profound’ Psychiatric or Psychological insight.

Oh – and if you are able… what about a bike…?

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Perilous Times

PERILOUS TIMES

II TIMOTHY 3/1: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.

Have these perilous times come?
Or are we just getting nervous?

By that I mean do we sense something taking place, or about to take place, rather like we see actors do in spooky movies just before some kind of evil visitation. Whether from earth or Mars?

You have heard of the ‘quiet before the storm’. Do we sense something ominous beginning to take place?

There’s a nervous anticipation many have, before going to the dentist. Some enjoy that nervous anticipation when they check out their lottery ticket, only to find money down the drain as usual.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. When waiting for a bus for example.

Theres a great sense of anticipation when the fisherman sees the float move on top of the water, just before he strikes.

But if any company of people should be discerning the times in which we live it is the Body of Christ (the true church).

He (Jesus) has given us – the bible says – ‘an understanding’. Jesus speaking to his audience says you can discern the heavens – the weather conditions – but you cannot discern the signs of the times (Luke 12/56). But if anybody is discerning – it should be us.

So is there an uneasiness, we as the people of God, feel about these times?

Or are we guilty of dismissing it as our imagination?

The second coming of The Lord Jesus Christ is it imminent?

Well no man knows the hour or the day. But it seems that living in anticipation of it – only lasts for a day. And we drift back into our daily routine of getting through life with our schedule of work rest and play.

Many years ago when our first born was still at the ‘buggy’ stage, we were visiting Edinburgh, and were walking near the Castle down a rough stoney slope. I was up ahead going down the slope, while my wife was pushing the buggy behind me with my daughter on board.

Suddenly I decided to turn around while walking, as I did so – simultaneously my daughter came tumbling headlong out of the buggy her small head about to be dashed against the stoney path.

With the greatest of ease I produced a save, the goalkeeper Gordon Banks would have been proud of. I simply leaned down and caught her head in my hand saving her from a nasty injury.

In anticipation of the fall I spontaneously did something. I took automatic action.

What made me turn at the right moment, what caused my reaction to be so calm and do just what was needed in the crisis?

I suspect that as one who walks with God, my senses were alert, made so by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.

What manner of persons ought we to be? II Peter 3/11 – in light of what is happening on the earth – what manner of persons should we be?

According to scripture – People of Holy conduct and godliness.

Now as soon as we mention Holiness and Godliness, the enemy of God and His church, – the devil – slides alongside us and offers condemnation in light of our lack of Holiness and Godliness.

He takes an occasion by anything and everything that sounds like a COMMANDMENT and he reminds everyone that we shall never make it.

As soon as any preacher mentions getting our act more together he slides alongside and says – there you go – ‘its heavy preaching time. He wants you all to fall into legalism’.

Listen I’ve had a stomach full – when it comes to legalism. Don’t tell me about legalism – Ive been there and bought the t-shirt. It stinks of the graveclothes of the flesh. Im not preaching legalism.

But what the call to a closer walk with God does, is, it exposes the things that stop us having a closer walk with God.

Because if we are not attending to the Lord without distraction. Then we are distracted by something other than the things of God.

And sin taking an occasion by the righteous commandment DECEIVES us and slays us, and we end up sinning all the more through discouragement.

When will we realise that the Holy Spirit correcting us, and the devil condemning us are two entirely different things?

What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did when He sent His own son in the likeness of human flesh, for sin, and condemned sin in the flesh so that the righteousness of God might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

What manner of persons ought you to be…?

People who walk after The Spirit.

There is no other way. We shall not be this Holy People, without the Holy Spirit. It is impossible. We must listen to the Holy Spirit as He applies not the letter which kills, but the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus that sets me free from the law of sin and death.

And when that sensing of the times we live in is upon us – we TAKE ACTION to save our own souls and those who hear us.

In anticipation of my child’s injury I took action. I reached out to save her.

Perilous times will come and have already come. Work while it is still day. The hour is coming in which no man can work.

As Bob Dylan sings – Its not dark yet – but its getting there.

What manner of persons ought we to be?

The truth is there is much to discourage us. Family life falling to bits. Marriages falling apart. Pornography becoming the norm. Alcoholism a way of life, to name but a very few symptoms of a dying world.

Moderation in all things out the window. So that legitimate things become illegitimate because – men love pleasure more than they love God.

He has given us all things freely to enjoy – but when they are not enjoyed in the Spirit they can only be enjoyed in the flesh. And they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There’s a lethargy that comes due to the pressure. Lethargy, lukewarmness, –

but I must work the overtime, I must clean the house, I must wash the car, I must watch the programme. I must buy new clothes. I must see the game.

Are these things wrong? No! But to stick a bit of prayer on the end of it – that’s whats wrong.

‘I must wash the car today – so I’ll need an hours prayer to prepare for it. So that I can do it as unto the Lord’ – how about that approach?

An on fire little lady that I know in Germany, was telling me that as she sat in Ghana on holiday, with her husband, the Lord told her to go and talk to the man a few tables away. A complete stranger of course. ‘How am I going to do this, seated here with my unsaved (i.e. non-Christian) husband’, she thought.

Her husband started to talk about a certain drink he wanted from the bar – so she took her opportunity – she said ‘well why don’t you go into the bar and order it’.

She rose immediately after he went and prompted by The Holy Spirit, proceeded to engage in conversation with the man, asking him if he could believe that God had prompted her to speak to him. He said he could, as he was a Christian – there to do evangelism and he was sitting discouraged having taken his hand ‘off the plough’ and was looking back. God arranged his encouragement. She shared and prayed.

Next day from afar she saw the same man in deep conversation with another man one hand on his shoulder, evangelising!

There on holiday, – but walking in the Spirit. Life is so much more enjoyable with the conscious presence of The Holy Spirit.

And when I go to the streets of Amsterdam I go to have a good time. I sit at cafes ’til the coffee is coming out of my ears, meeting the most interesting people, and showing them pieces of art, engaging in conversations anointed by the Holy Spirit.

What manner of persons ought we to be? – Holy Spirit people, Jesus people.

(If some of this Christian language is strange to you – you can always ask – ken.riddles@btinternet.com)

Let me ask you…

LET ME ASK YOU

So let me ask you.
If I was a scientologist would you read what I wrote?
What about a Bahai person – would that
float your boat?
How about a feminist expounding my view
Would that do it for you?
A politician – now there’s a thought
Can you engage in political talk?
How about an enthusiastic fisherman
Is that boring enthusiasm you don’t understand?
Then what about plastic surgeon talk
Delete from computer screen – and go for a walk?
Is there any mileage in any other religion?
Or perhaps you fancy animal talk
how about a pigeon?
Can I interest you in purchasing art?
Or does the blogosphere mean we are too far apart?
You know I could go on forever and a day
But just let me have one more piece of ‘say’
(Hat’s on…)
I’m a Christian evangelist – does that make your day?
Or does it make you want – to run away?

 

HELP

HELP (not remotely
Shakespearian🎭?
or with apologies to
the famous Bard.)

Come let me help you
But what shall I say?
Come, a lending hand I extend
How are you today?

I will try to cheer with word
But words are not just what I say
I fly into your life like a bird
I’ll say…again if I may…

Can I help you in any way?

Help me? – well yes – I too
could do with some help
If that’s all right with you?

Come, let us take mutual benefit
Let us go arms around shoulders
Merrily on our way as befits
two good friends
So few and far between are they

I’ll be there for you
And you’ll be there for me
That’s as it should be

So finally…

Take comfort in my invitation
To join along with me
Let’s cut a caper of merry dance
Let’s advance
onward and upward
On life’s great journey

What do you need today?
I’m free for an hour or two…

Do not dismay
Firm handshake then…
…If you have – elsewhere to be,
And much to do

Perhaps another time
When you are through…

What to read

WHAT TO READ

Don’t want to read what makes me choke
I don’t want to read what only provokes

I want to read art
I wan’t to read about being – set apart

I could read other stuff
But I won’t pretend – or bluff

There’s a lot to read out there
But it all ends in the end

There’s a lot of despair
It’s uncontrollable – too much to bear

I can read other literature
But I prefer what is pure

I Might not agree with you
You might not agree too

I think of the bloggers afraid to look
At the content of the Book of books.

As we think – so we are
But every brain has gone too far

Shackles bound – ‘thought feet’ in snare.
The same mistakes – perpetual defeat

But there’s also:
The mystery ordained for the glory of some
Partaken of – by the chosen ones

Out of sight man
Way outa sight

Hope’s on the horizon
It’s time – the time has begun

‘The end is nigh…’
On a billboard – creates a sigh.

Can’t get past it’s ridiculous outcry
To find that it’s true for you and I ?

Write again

WRITE AGAIN
(Poetic Fiction)

He was…

Bubbling over with random rage
Trying to recover the writing of the lost page

Couldn’t believe it lost it’s way
Couldn’t believe recall
couldn’t retrieve it – to save the day

Was it this ‘what I wrote’
or
was it other words ‘what I spoke’

It grieves me sore I lost those flowers
Flowery words I did discharge

I will never utter such again
Back to ‘same ol’ words plain as plain

No masterpiece of literature will return
Only crumpled paper fit to burn

Still can’t complain –
its only pontificating
And I will live – to write again