Tea and a listening ear

For a retired priest and spiritual director i maybe don’t mention God as much as people would expect me to. This isn’t to do with lack of faith, in fact quite the reverse it’s due to a security and certainty. If hell is a place of torment and separation then many of us have lived in and experienced hell many times in our life. Childhood trauma and abuse, some of my darkest times are boarding school some of my friends experiences in the military, all remind us of the hideous life on this planet. By reverse the reality of heaven is about joy and the old-fashioned word Bliss means the joy of heaven. Jesus himself said, I come that you might have and enjoy life in all its fullness in abundance until it overflows. That’s what I want you to have life in all its fullness in abundance until it overflows. If you’re not having that life we have to ask why, what are you struggling with what makes life feel more like hell than heaven what we going to do about it. The expression lies damned lies sticks out for me, the soap opera type of existence were always hiding round a corner being selective with the truth and unable to come to anything with a clear heart and clear conscience.

Family life can be more dysfunctional than the relationship between Israel and Palestine long-running histories of feuding and anger and bitterness and resentment. Sometimes a simple bridge is needed to move people from where they are to wear they need to be. I’m a firm believer in sitting down with people and having a cup of tea.

I was once told that our sovereign Lady the Queen sits down each afternoon with her friends or whoever’s visiting and apparently and I’m not able to verify this she makes the tea herself she makes earl grey using malvern water and in the ritual of the making of the tea there are are various acknowledgements. first acknowledgement being you’re welcome let’s sit down and have some space and please enjoy my hospitality. the maze prison was harbouring or keeping captive or whatever the phrase should be lots of terrorists freedom fighters political prison prisoners it was a very difficult place told to live. At first the exercise yard’s were places of abuse of shouting and swearing as people from rival political factions walked alongside perimeter fences passing their enemies in another exercise ground after a time they ran out of known swear words and had to start making up her own terms of abuse, as the months and the years rolled by even that became ineffectual and then an extraordinary thing began to happen., People of opposite persuasions began to say good morning to each other again to engage in meaningful dialogue, hurts began to heal.

When under a particular political agreement many of those prisoners were released to local community, an organisation started to hold mornings with tea and biscuits and one of those mornings a man arrived to be offered hospitality around the table, as a lady offered him a cup of tea he realise that she was the mother of somebody that he had killed, she then uttered the fantastic words of forgiveness, don’t worry sit down and have cup of tea. Likewise a famous Cuban freedom fighter was assassinated. During his lifetime as well as organising much revolutionary activity he had set up a medical charity. Many years later his assassin was going blind and that charity that Che Guevara had established organised and paid for the operation to restore the assassins site. Hopefully most of your dilemmas, most of your hellish experiences fall short of these horrors, they might not. However I come back to that little phrase to have and enjoy life and life in all its fullness. As a paraplegic life coach, my life is somewhat different to the average person .

My day begins at 6 o’clock in the morning when carer arrives to sort out all sorts of personal needs, to press buttons and use hoists to lift me out of bed and take me through to my bathroom.

After all of that’s out the way I come back into a little shed, an office in my garden I stop and I pause and I communicate with the divine, meditate and I bask in presence of the knowledge of all that is bigger than me, that is more powerful than me both beyond and within. I like to listen to a recording of the previous day’s daily service on radio four long wave, at its worst it’s a parody of all the things that television comedy scriptwriters say about the Church of England and the Conservative party, at its best it’s a wonderful reminder of childhood school assemblie. S the singing of hymns the reading of parables. The Feeling of being part of a greater good that is bigger than oneself.

At this time of year when I go to my garden office it can be a little bit chilly but I want to refrain from putting the heating on, and quite like to leave the door open so the dog can run in and out. Days like today when the sun has risen the sunlight is coming into this little wooden building, I feel that I am in a simple way enjoying the foretaste of heaven in the now. As I dictate this blog entry into a clever piece of technology that will help me type it up my little dog sits on my lap, she is a pug , so she purrs like a cat and as she sits and she purrs I experience another foretaste of heaven in the now.

I live on the Thames estuary on a little place called Canvey Island and I’m blessed to enjoy the marina , the prom , the seafront and the old cafe. These things remind me of beauty and the good of the world. To stop, to see it to receive kindness and a cup of tea, somebody to listen to you somebody to explore with you.

My passionate desire to sit with you to enjoy your company to share a pot of tea and through those simple things to take you on a journey from where you are to where you could be to have and enjoy life in all its fullness. Please do contact soul companion if there is anything I can do to assist you.

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