Reject or Project?

 

This is another of my social experiments!

That’s how I used to see what happened if…. The ironing pile grew bigger or diminished    when labelled as a numbered ‘social experiment’,  Another example might be the bowl of uneaten breakfast cereal left on the kitchen work-top. Either you skivvy on and on, picking up all the things that nobody wants to deal with or you let everyone know that you’ve noticed and all you’re doing about it is seeing what they think their role might be when action is required… What were the results of these experiments? The ‘collective consciousness’ (to borrow a phrase from Nicholas Wolterstorff, I think,) of the family was “The experimenter’s tolerance level is less than ours. Do nothing (usually for months, if not years) and she will move the bowl of rotting ‘rice krispies’ herself.” The thing I learn’t from the general body of these experiments was not to do them. The tension and objectionableness of waiting for a positive result wasn’t worth the price it would have cost (me) to have dealt with the ‘test material’ e.g. unwanted cereal, unposted phone bill payment, pile of THEIR-clean-dry-folded-and-ironed- clothes-not-yet-put-conveniently-in-their-drawers-for-THEM etc! To accept that (I am) the skivvy; the person who wants to establish minimum standards and maintain them while nobody else is bothered either way would have been the less painful course of action.

What is this experiment about, then?

I want to explore, and to embrace rejection. ( Like I want to dive, ever again, into deep, clean, cold water, so pure and so uncompromising in its iciness that surviving and breathing through the shock of it consumes every neurone of consciousness) Could this be a project more worthy of pursuit?

What I’m recalling here is that rejection HURTS! Why do it?

Because love travels with the rejected through to wherever that journey leads. Not to is desertion. Ask any soldier or a hero or heroine of your choice. I recommend the story of Naomi and Ruth, off the top of my head. And we have all travelled that route whether we wanted to or not. As the object. The Reject.

Now how does that feel?

Go on recall it. Unrecognised? Misunderstood? Undignified? Have you since thought of what you wish you had said? Restored your pride with a flourish? Better that you didn’t.

This is just a random flow of exploration. I recall a letter I had from a conservation body. An organisation I had catalogued in my mind on the basis of a few random experiences, press releases and so on. They were demigods. I had an interview to work for them. A dream opportunity. You’ve probably guessed! No I didn’t get the job, but instead of thanking me for considering their post a worthwhile way to spend my time over and above raising my 18month old, they sent out letters saying that nobody had been selected for the post because all interviewees had been of such a low standard that they would have to readvertise. Well they failed to reach their objective as much as their interviewees did, then, no?

Ridicule. Age 8 or 9. I’ve seen it happen and experienced the withering scorn; public humiliation of a child because the teacher failed to see the vision as expressed in the work of the child who failed to see the unspecified expectations of the teacher. That is just abuse of power. Milstones round their necks! The millstone? Hewn from self-importance.

Sounding a bit familiar, now. Isaiah 53. I have drunk in some of the verses therein. Tears of relief and grief the chaser. Because whether we beleive in HIM or not, we believe in what he stands for here. The misunderstood, rejected (by fools), noble, worthy, loved and accepted (by Wisdom) one. Why so familiar and so loved until we are the ones who are blind and despise and mistrust? We repay rejection or misunderstanding with the same rejection. We are guilty. We are too small and feeble to accept, to embrace, to resore. By the same token that we did it to the least of one of these, when we fed or clothed or gave them a drink of water, did we not also when we rejected one of his little ones not also reject him? If he has given citizenship to any, who are we to turn them away at the city gates of our hearts, if our hearts are indeed his territory? That is why he had to do it himself, take the rejection so utterly upon himself. Ultimately, in his house, with many rooms, there is a place for all who accept him. We will not have any just objection to their presence!

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. Of this same, many roomed mansion?

Was it not so smooth and regular as the other stones? Did it go against the criteria of good stone selection according to the guild of master masons? In accepting how good are we at running with the unfamiliar, the irregular and the non-conforming?

To be rejected is to be at the frontier of redemption. It still HURTS.

This is an ongoing project.

I have listened hungrily to a song by the blessed ‘Rend Collective Experiment’ hoping to have a reality transfusion for some people I love from this truth into their lives, as yet an unanswered prayer;

‘ My Future hangs on this,

you make preciousness from dust,

please don’t stop creating me.’

Are we in our ‘seeing others as dust’ mode or have we seen their unique and stunning preciousness yet?

Prayer Returns Nov. 09

Father

I am sitting before you again to be still and quiet in your presence.

To rejoice and celebrate your presence.

To acknowledge that this is fellowship; as your Spirit is not geographically defined, here we are in your presence together. As I intercede, knowing that Christ intercedes perfectly, I am confident of your power and will to bring blessing, by grace to all who are in this prayer communion.

Praise you, you are kind and patient. Thank you for the provision of work and healing for the body so he can work, for the chippy. Protect him and keep his mind awake to your goodness and availability to help him as he desires to serve you and witness in his daily work.

I bring the Cherub and Bono before you. Walk alongside them and pour in the peace that passes all understanding as they cover unfamiliar ground. Let them wonder and share and be quiet or chatty, confident in you and your love for them both. Do your will and reveal that to them as the light of your word guides their steps. Praise you for all you mean and are, to and in them both.

Guide her daily in every way. Thank you for the new provision and its perfect timing. As you lead and allow her to discover her way, protect her in all your wisdom and humility, so she is proactive and quick to learn. Let her witness be light and loveliness, bringing truth and joy. You are so amazing, so strong and mighty and always Holy……fhdia\fhjdsak.lhf!

The Tidge. I continue to take great relief and confidence that you are taking care of her in new challenges. You are the perfect father and life coach. Your love is discipline and your discipline reassures of continued faithfulness to your standards. So make whole her character with assurance of her value and pricelessness to you. How she uses her life will be tuned accordingly. So help her with compassion and power to keep on standing. As she feels vulnerable or ‘full of beans’, be her closest friend, hold her hand so she is reminded you are with her every moment. Thank you.

Thank you for Esther and our very tender friedship, how you so widen the horizons of how we can love each other. As she seeks work in science and feels the fragility of her future, send your reassurance. Help her command fear to recede as your love becomes more 3d. Let your will and Kingdom be seen as she takes each day and its challenges. Let her be both Spirit and flint. Unbreakable life. Please make straight the path to her scientific research, removing the prejudice and blinkers of University obstructions. Open the gates and break the bars. Make her clear in her thinking so her work is crisp and useful, bringing honour to your name.

Let the Tetrarch’s brother have his needs met in Christ but not met by unstable aliances. You are sovereign over all the works and institutions. I ask you to look upon that situation and depend on your mercy, wisdom and eternal goodness.

I pray you help Cara not to be anxious about her teacher’s absence. Take gentle care of her and her classmates. Help them to grow in maturity and skills together and Let this disturbance be used to advantage. Lord I lift the teacher and colleagues up to your hands of healing and reconciliation. Thank you for the width of your overshadowing wings.

Joe T Sh. You have known and been meeting him at every point of need. I pray that he continues in his discovery of you and your character, especially of your grace to fuel him.

Please let him rely on you to inspire him for the organisation of the social events for which he has responsibility. Let him find his organisational skills are growing like excercised muscles, and thus by your power at work within his inner man, bless the school work, the branch groups and the talks he has to prepare and deliver, so he blesses others without hindrance.

Please bring lots of children to the boys CU and likewise girls if such provision is available. Let the things you have promised about praise from the lips of babes and infants be multiplied and evident. Let the branches all grow stronger and stronger in the vine. Jesus thank you for being the source and life in these groups. Let young lives be changed from glory to glory and fruitfulness, making all the teaching available and relevant to every age group.

We pray for the young man sent back to st Lens by the other church. Let him learn a lot about your unchanging and unfailing love by this apparent set back. Help him discover your purpose and hold on to you. Let him be as thrilled and on track in your will as one of the bobsled teams in the winter olympics! halleluja!

As Joe returns home for the Christmas break, help him readjust to family life and be sensitive to how his role is valuable in that circle, likewise his sisters. Bless them all as they relax and celebrate together. Use them together as a family to witness to the community of your trinity love and fellowship. Thank you for what you have done for them and through them.

On his return to Ammersham, help him tackle the paperwork without dread or prevarication! Help him just to get started and then find it is not such a big monster on the hill-toand please let him not have it on his mind during the holidays. Bless his work in every way with the youth.

Please in the course of the next weeks and his remaining time at St Len’s show him what your plan is for the future. Let him hear you in his quiet times, leading him as you counsel him, focusing on each day and how each day is part of the jouirney to the next place of work and service. As he gives himself to your service, keep him assured that you are watching over and guiding him.

Lord this is all in your hands. I lay it all down and thank you for being trustworthy. Your sight and perspective is eternally perfect. Amen.