Posts tagged ‘Church’

Too easy to forget

Yesterday I brought a friend from work to church and, among other things which I will not describe now, it made me realize that I am actually really proud of my church friends. It comes as a surprise only because one tends to take old friends rather for granted, and some of these folks have been my friends for something like sixteen years, but that’s no excuse for missing out on qualities like their intelligence, goodness, kindness and talent. Whenever one of them showed welcome to my colleague, or played their musical instrument well, or made a witty remark, or was nice to someone else’s kid, I felt glad that these were my friends, and hoped to be a better friend in return. Sometimes it takes new eyes to appreciate what we already have.

And my nose is much better, though my voice ain’t what it used to be, so yay for hot toddies too.

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October 25, 2010 at 20:55 Leave a comment

Goodbye

Today’s post is dedicated to one of my church elders, Uncle C. I’m not close to any of the elders, but Uncle C was one of those I liked best. He was kind, sweet and smiling, and never smug, patronizing or hypocritical. He didn’t tell people what to do, but quietly did it himself. He had cancer and was on chemotherapy, but never got to the stage where it was immediately obvious.

What happened was that after church last Sunday, he suddenly became dizzy and had trouble breathing. The next I heard, he was comatose in the intensive care unit. Then I heard that his brain scan showed a massive bleed. I don’t think he ever recovered consciousness. Visitors were limited to family and pastors.

He died three days ago.

Mr. Manx and I went to the wake last night. Throughout the whole thing, I kept smelling the scent of L’Artisan Perfumeur’s Fleur de Narcisse, which was crazy. This is a 2006 limited edition scent, of which only 3000 numbered bottles were available for sale worldwide. I think only Tangs carried it here, and I saw only three bottles there. I have one, and I cannot imagine the odds of someone else having bought one of the other two and sitting within sniffing distance of me. Also, it’s not exactly the kind of scent one wears to a funeral. All the same, I couldn’t trace it to anyone; it was simply in the air, driving me nuts with the scent of earthiness under cool white flowers. After a while, though, I just sat and enjoyed the smell. Who knows. God works in mysterious ways.

Death can happen anytime. What makes me sad about it is the people who are left behind. They have to carry on with a gaping hole where once there was a parent, a partner, a lover, a friend. It’s hard to get used to. Two days ago, I saw Uncle C’s obituary over the shoulder of a man who was reading the paper. It was strange. Smiling, but no longer feeling. Real, but no longer there.

Goodbye, Uncle C. You will be greatly missed.

August 31, 2009 at 20:23 3 comments

The Power Of H1N1

Although I’m personally pretty sure that swine flu is not that different from any other flu, it has proven to be quite powerful. One shining example of this is that it has revolutionized the way my church takes communion. It has been the case for decades that my church sends around thick slices of white bread on silver salvers for people to pinch bits out of, in accordance with Christ and His disciples breaking bread. This week, history was made by the replacement of bread with little round white wafers, laid spaced out on lined baking trays. The wafers were familiar to me, because I’d taken them as a young teen in another church, but they tasted strange after all these years of white bread. Even the communion wine tasted different, like half of it was grape juice.

On an another note, these are what my colleagues have decided to re-name the swine flu as:

Colleague #1: H1N1 looks like it should be pronounced HeeNee.

Colleague #2: No, no. 1 is spelt O-N-E, so the rightful initials of H1N1 are Hono.

Colleague #3: But if you spell the whole thing out, it’s pronounced Honinoni. Yatta!  

June 29, 2009 at 09:27 3 comments

The Alien In Church

Today I ran into someone who attends my church. I’ve never exactly spoken to her. She’s a stick-thin little woman with badly-cut hair, always wearing too-large clothes. I’m not sure many people speak to her.

Many years ago, my church organized this workshop on extra-terrestrial phenomena and got a speaker in to talk about UFOs and aliens and how we, as Christians, ought to think about them (i.e. as little as possible). When it came to the Q&A segment, this little woman stood up and said, “Aliens want to be our lovers, because ‘alien’ sounds like ‘ai ren’ and ‘ai ren’ is Chinese for lover. So we Christians must be very careful and not let the aliens rape us.”

I can understand how people can get freaked out by those with mental illness. When I take off my doctor hat, I am not immune to shudders of repulsion either.

I’m quite sure she saw and recognized me in return.

I wouldn’t have thought this way when I was an impressionable kid, but churches probably do have a bit of a headache when it comes to people who are mentally ill. I don’t mean the majority who have treatable mood problems, but the few who are genuinely disturbed. In order to walk the walk of Christianly virtue, churches cannot simply turn away these folks. Yet, once embraced into the fold, they can be quite problematic. Many psychotic people are fervently hyper-religious, but their brand of religion generally has a following of one. Yet, they cannot be told to shut up when they spout their beliefs, and neither is it always advisable to engage them in theological debate. And then they tend to be socially disadvantaged, and in need of a job, and cash, and friends, and love, and then when do you stop giving?

I’ve also heard about cases who were quietly chucked out of churches for being too disruptive, or even threatening… and some of them can really get those alarm bells clanging.

As with many things in life, there is no easy solution. There are those who think that the answer is to throw all the mentally ill people into the nearest asylum for keeps.  I can only imagine the letters written to our MPs in efforts to achieve this end. Ah well. At the end of the day, all I can say is that I’m grateful to have my health, and the imperfections in my life are more than made up for by my many blessings. There but for the grace of God go I, isn’t it?

June 10, 2009 at 21:08 Leave a comment

Blessed Good Friday

Church

Blessed Good Friday to all! Am off to attend church. See you tomorrow!

April 10, 2009 at 08:23 Leave a comment


Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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