Where Angels Fear to Tread

Angels – I view them with awe and perhaps a little envy. They are luminous, transcendent beings, who fly along the rays of the sun and walk among the stars.

But maybe, just maybe, it is that angels look upon us in the same way. We, the down-to-earth and non-glimmerous beings, who walk upon the solid surface of our planet. We, who live day to day in the grit of this fallen world.

It is hard to be a human being. To be in this world, but at the same time not of it.

I grapple with my world and myself every day. Sometimes I feel like I am flying, but mostly I am all too aware of my feet treading, hopefully delicately but more likely haphazardly, on another day.

Yet there is a certain something about being a human being.

I create and dream. I learn and share. I grieve and I delight. I thrive. I relate, human to human, knowing that this could result in either sorrow or joy, but relating anyway. I live deeply and love deeper.

I reach out to and know an almighty God, who first reached out to me when He stepped down onto this earth – as a human.

Maybe, just maybe, the angels look down from their heavenly realm, and regard me with awe and perhaps a little envy.

I dare to be human. I dare to know, really know as only a human can know, God.

I walk where angels fear to tread.

© Emma McGeorge

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10 Things Extraordinary People Say

Someone whom I admire shared the following with me – I dare you and me to read it and live it…

10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day

Want to make a huge difference in someone’s life? They’re small things, but each has the power to dramatically change someone’s day. Including yours.

1) “Here’s what I’m thinking.”

You’re in charge, but that doesn’t mean you’re smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else. Taking the time to explain your decisions opens those decisions up to discussion or criticism, and it also opens up your decisions to improvement. Authority can make you “right,” but collaboration makes everyone right – and makes everyone pull together.

2) “I was wrong.”

When you’re wrong, say you’re wrong. You won’t lose respect–you’ll gain it.

3) “That was awesome.”

No one gets enough praise. No one. Pick someone – pick anyone – who does or did something well and say, “Wow, that was great how you…” Praise is a gift that costs the giver nothing but is priceless to the recipient. Start praising.

4) “You’re welcome.”

Think about a time you gave a gift and the recipient seemed uncomfortable or awkward. Their reaction took away a little of the fun for you, right? The same thing can happen when you are thanked or complimented or praised. Don’t spoil the moment or the fun for the other person. The spotlight may make you feel uneasy or insecure, but all you have to do is make eye contact and say, “Thank you.” Or make eye contact and say, “You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.” Don’t let thanks, congratulations, or praise be all about you. Make it about the other person, too.

5) “Can you help me?”

When you need help, regardless of the type of help you need or the person you need it from, just say, sincerely and humbly, “Can you help me?” I promise you’ll get help. And in the process you’ll show vulnerability, respect and a willingness to listen, which, by the way, are all qualities of a great leader – and a great friend.

6) “I’m sorry.”

We all make mistakes, so we all have things we need to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, show support… Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame. No less. No more. Then you both get to make the freshest of fresh starts.

7) “Can you show me?”

Advice is temporary; knowledge is forever. Knowing what to do helps, but knowing how or why to do it means everything. When you ask to be taught or shown, several things happen: You implicitly show you respect the person giving the advice; you show you trust his or her experience, skill and insight; and you get to better assess the value of the advice. Don’t just ask for input. Ask to be taught or trained or shown. Then you both win.

8) “Let me give you a hand.”

Many people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. So, many people hesitate to ask for help. But everyone needs help. Offer in a way that feels collaborative, not patronizing or gratuitous. Then actually roll up your sleeves and help.

9) “I love you.”

No, not with inappropriate innuendo, but using words and/or actions everywhere you mean it – and every time you feel it. We are here to share God’s love.

10) Say Nothing.

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. Be quiet until you know exactly what to say – and exactly what affect your words will have.

 

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Good Morning!

This morning, I got up early while it was still dark, put on my pink silk robe and went outside to greet the dawn.

“Hello.” The dawn replied.

I jumped. I’m not all that accustomed to being on the reciprocal end of greeting the dawn.

“Er, hello…?” An embarrassed giggle followed my hesitant reply, as the absurdity of what I was doing suddenly penetrated. The laugh choked into a cough a moment later.

“I was just saying to Venus as she went past – “ the dawn continued matter-of-factly “ – how refreshing it is to slip over the dark horizon and actually be greeted by someone. Makes it worth the effort, you know.”

“Oh… yes – I mean… no. I don’t quite, er, follow…?” I fumbled with the cord of my dressing gown, but my fingers were as clumsy as my intelligence. Wild thoughts giddily galloped through my brain’s morning fog like horses on a prairie. A rather void prairie.

‘The Dawn’ had returned my greeting. What should I say in response? Hang on – why was I trying to respond anyway? Was it entirely normal for one to converse with, well, the dawning of a new day? Such mysteries were really a bit much for a staunch night owl such as myself. Generally, I wasn’t even producing a pulse at this early hour, let alone… Unless it was still night?

I wriggled my bare toes in the cool, dew-kissed grass. It felt real enough. But dreams could be tricky things – thought it a good joke to allow a body to soar in effortless delight through a silver sky, only to fall hundreds of stories in sheer terror and wake up with a horrid jolt, soaked in sweat and obviously not a shining super hero. I pinched my arm.

“Ouch!”

“Hmmm,” the dawn sympathised wisely. “Never could understand the self-infliction of pain. Are you alright though?”

“Oh, uh, yes thanks.” I answered bravely. “Just peachy, I am. Yes… just peachy…”

There was a pause. Part of me was firmly convinced that I should take my befuddled self back to the warm cocoon of pillows and dreams, and wake up a few hours later to start this day again. But another part of me lingered, curious.

“So… how are you?” I finally said, then immediately wondered if one asked such questions of the dawn. If so, no-one had ever shared the outcome and insights of the conversation with me.

“Oh, I’m wonderful!” The dawn exclaimed. “It’s so delightful to start the day with a bit of conversation – don’t you think?” Before I could trip over another awkward reply, the dawn continued, “Getting on, though. Day’s not too far behind now.”

“Day?” I echoed stupidly.

“Yes, the day.” The dawn was infinitely patient. “He usually follows me pretty closely. Of course, I have to make sure I’m keeping up with Night, who is himself right on the tail of Dusk. We all sort of follow the leader, right around the world. Have to keep up, else we’d all get into a bit of a tangle, you see.”

“Yes. Yes, I see.” I agreed, somewhat distractedly. My mind was struggling to comprehend the results of such a tangle, but the dawn didn’t give me time to ponder this novel idea. She blissfully carried on with my lesson on the comings and goings of time.

“Yes, there are always people waiting for Day or Night all around the globe,” said the dawn. Then added in a somewhat subdued tone, “But not very many wait to see me.”

“Oh? Why not?” I asked. The sky was now a misty grey, and I felt suddenly and inexplicably sorry for my luminous and unconventional companion.

“Well you see, I’m the transition between the night and the day. People have very definite uses for Night and for Day, but I’m around for such a brief moment, that most of them miss me slipping past.” Then the dawn’s voice brightened again. “Which is why I was so pleased when you came to greet me!”

“Oh…” I was rather awed by this revelation. I had thoughtlessly arisen to greet the dawn, and now she was thanking me for my actions.

“Well, I… it was my pleasure.” I said truthfully. “Yes – happy to do it again anytime!”

“Oh lovely!” The dawn’s voice was fainter now. “Same time tomorrow then?”

“Yes – yes! Okay then. Tomorrow.” I nodded happily, looked around me, and noticed for the first time the subtle footprints of the day stepping lightly along the path of the dawn.

The sky was bathed in a beautiful rose hue, and the air was fresh with newness and possibilities. A golden streak of sun reached confidently across the ever-lightening blue canopy.

“Are you going now, Dawn?” I called out, suddenly feeling strangely bereft.

“I am indeed!” The dawn called over her shoulder. “But it was lovely to greet you.”

“Oh – and you!” I returned. “Yes – lovely. Well… Good then.”

“Good then!” The dawn laughingly echoed me. “Or, as I like to say it, ‘Good Day’.”

I laughed with her.

“Good day!”

And then, just as the dawn had predicted, it was.

© Emma McGeorge 2012

The Indespensible Bobby Pin

“According to rumour, a clever woman can fix anything with a single ‘tool’ – a hairpin.” Complete House Encyclopaedia, Dorothy Pace (1947)

As soon as my mother, who was reading aloud to me from the Readers’ Digest Good Old Days, Good Old Ways: Wisdom of the Past for the Needs of Today, spoke the above quote, I knew. This is truth.

I have often wondered how such an incredibly vital tool such as the bobby pin can be overlooked for so long. Just take a moment to think about it. The bobby pin has so many invaluable uses!

Apart from styling my hair or pinning flowers in it, I personally have used bobby pins to unpick a lock, extract an earring from a washbasin plug, undo a knot in a cord, scrape gum out from the crack in my shoe, fix the radio in a car, unblock moisturizing cream nozzles, “paper clip” documents together, and mark my place in a book.

How many tools can be worn in your hair, ready to utilize at a moment’s notice?

Furthermore, a bobby pin is not at all expensive to buy. You can pick up a pack of 200 for a mere $3 at a dollar store. This is fortunate as, if you are like me, you will invariably leave bobby pins in your wake. They are wont, from time to time, to slip out of a carefully pinned hair bun – but we won’t hold this against them. Just think how much happier Gretel would have been if, instead of bread crumbs, she could have left a trail of bobby pins.

Of course, you want to be sure that you buy the best style and size bobby pin for you. So here is a brief guide to bobby pin shopping:

–          The longer bobby pin is ideal for pinning up waves of long hair. It will also provide a firm hold so that you can be confident your style will last.

–          The shorter bobby pin can be used to capture stray wisps and curls, and to eliminate “shark fins” while still being discreet.

–          I personally prefer a bobby pin that is tapered to a close at the opening end – however, some may prefer a wider mouth for ease of sliding into hair.

–          The colour of your bobby pin is important, so take a moment to decide what its purpose will be before you purchase.

  • If you merely want to hold a style in place, use a bobby pin that is close to your natural hair colour.
  • If you would like the pin to double as a fashion accessory, choose a contrasting colour that will stand out.
  • For real glitz and glamour, style your hair with gold, silver or pastel-coloured bobby pins.

So, Girls, I encourage you to start using your bobby pins to their fullest extent. And come on, Guys – it’s the perfect, inexpensive-yet-oh-so-vital gift, with so many uses you can never go wrong!

 

Ode to the Bobby Pin

A slender pin with ridged back

That keeps unruly hair on track

And though it seems to take a while

It’s worth it for resulting style

So if you find the day looms vast

Just leave bad hair days in the past

And fix upon your face a grin

And in your locks a bobby pin

A Musing

And Other Thinks

 What is life? Life is a musing. At least that’s what I think…

Yes, it’s true. I do think… Some thinks are only fleeting, and may provide some amusement or revelation that redirects my path by a few degrees. Other thinks are much deeper, and take much longer to process. And still other thinks get embedded in my brain like a burr on a sock – and I cannot but pay it the attention for which it clamours.

Yet these thinks do no good if they go no further than my own solid cranium, and so I endeavour to pour onto paper my ponderings and wonderings and even my brick walls. Perhaps one of my readers has the right ladder with which to see over said walls.

My passion is to capture in written form the sparks and quirks and moments of downright random that make ordinary, everyday life anything but ordinary. Humanity is alive and kicking, and if we take a moment to reflect, we are only too ready to laugh at ourselves or cry with another or soak in a blessed truth like rain to a parched land.

Too often, we are content to shuttle through each day with no more enthusiasm than a San Francisco cable car – stopping only to pick up or drop off passengers, and always following the same track. Yet life is so much more than the mundane apparel of the daily grind that we drape across our shoulders like a weary cloak.

What is the purpose of life? What is my purpose in this life? How do I know if I am truly living? These questions are recurring themes in the book of my life, and I can only write them out and muse over the chapters and see what God reveals in the process.

Knowing God is the difference between existence and life, and I am on a journey to understand and embrace this difference – with a life that is being lived. I’d love for you to come along!

Join me on a journey that, hopefully, will be eye-opening, somewhat bumpy, often delightful, and always a musing.

Kaleidoscope – the song

Pieces shatter on the floor

My broken dreams stretch to the door

Shards of grief lie scattered at my feet

It seems that I will never fly

I’m beaten down – don’t wanna try

I hang distorted pictures in defeat

 

Coz life is a kaleidoscope

Can’t even breathe, can’t even cope

And looking out I see no hope for me

Can broken lives ignite a flame

Of passion that burns fear and shame?

Or will this darkness claim the world I see?

 

My heartbeat falters in a blackened night

I need someone to show me there is light

 

Tears have stained my life in grey

Dirty colors twist and fade

A picture-perfect snapshot of despair

It rips and tears imploding in

The ashes of chaotic din

But somehow someone hears my silent prayer

 

Coz life is a kaleidoscope

Can’t even breathe, can’t even cope

And looking out I see no hope for me

But then You hold me in Your eye

My broken colors intertwine

A glimpse of life within Your light I see

 

You open eyes, You shine Your love, You heal

And my kaleidoscope is beautiful

 

How can it be?

Fragmented hearts now beat in harmony

God, pure and strong

You make prisms with the pieces of my song

 

You open eyes, You shine Your love, You heal

And my kaleidoscope is beautiful

 

© 2011 Emma McGeorge