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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Flapping Plastic

The farmer is using the straw bales he stacked like a giant little piggie’s house in the autumn. A few bales at a time disappear down the road, and the result is voluminous black polythene left flapping in the often fierce winter winds. 

From our driveway the noise is surprisingly loud. To Don it sounds like the flapping of sails that have lost the wind on a small yacht off the west coast of Scotland. To me, less poetically, it sounds like the gentle roar of the San Diego Freeway passing my childhood home.

Perception. The same noise, but interpreted by two people totally differently, because of our histories, our memories, our experiences. 

When we talk about God as our Father, some of us unconsciously cosy into his lap, spiritually, confident of his loving care. Others draw back, suspicious, slightly frightened perhaps, remembering fathers who fell far short of the mark. Others may just have a sort of blank, a feeling of abandonment, of rejection perhaps, unable to remember a father at all because he had disappeared from family life. 

The same God. Different perceptions. 

Only God, by the power of his Holy Spirit, can heal memories that still have power over us for years. Only he can show us what He means by being our Father. The sacrificial, unconditional, eternal love he has for each of us no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done. 

Don hears sails. I hear freeways. But really, it’s black plastic, flapping in the wind.

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