Monday, 23 November 2015

Take Me Deeper - November Week 3

Well, this year continues to move onwards and now we have all the Christmas adverts on the TV, tubs of chocolates piled from floor to ceiling in supermarkets and thoughts are inevitably drawn towards the commercial side of Christmas. Thank goodness for His Kingdom Come! In just under a week now, the Advent daily Take Me Deeper devotions will start! Yay! 

Every year I seem to start Advent with good intentions of focussing not on everyTHING around me, but on everyONE and of course upon the true meaning of Christmas. However, even doing that, which sounds pretty simple really, has its problems! Hours of driving each day helping different people with the problems in their lives, phone calls to try and obtain help for them, watching to see my 91 year old Dad is OK as mum and I dash off to another emergency which surely will come from one quarter or another...much as helping these people is the right thing to do, of course, it does come at a price for mum and me. 

The frustration of systems in this country that do not provide as they should for the most vulnerable is overwhelming. The things we have to do, fight, to get the smallest piece of help for an 89 year old lady who is now housebound and whom the GP and Social Services say is in her right mind and yet refuses to pay for a carer to go shopping for her...meaning her house is becoming bereft of nourishing food other than what mum and I take in. Of course, our helping in this way merely reinforces her delusion that she has someone doing her shopping and so doesn't need to pay! And as long as Social Services see even a small amount being done for the lady they will not life a finger to help her. So what are we to do? Leave this lady to use what food remains in her house? Watch her, as the weather here has turned cold and frosty, with the possibility of snow, sit alone in her home with nothing eventually, and very soon, to eat? Refuse to take in any food in order to get her the regular and organised help she desperately needs? How can anybody do that? And, of course, that is exactly what the authorities know and rely on.

BUT! In the midst of all this, there are little miracles, blessings that restore faith in human nature. One of the lady's carers, unbeknown to us, has been spending her own money (and carers here do NOT get paid much at all) to buy a pack of sandwiches each day she goes for the lady to eat in the evening. Now she has bought soup for her lunch as well as the sandwiches.

When the Police and paramedics broke into this lady's house, after she pressed her panic alarm in the middle of the night and they couldn't get a response, and when they broke her conservatory and dining room door to get into the house, and left broken glass strewn in their wake, when they didn't clear up or make the house secure before leaving when she was OK, and so left this old lady and her sleep-in carer (who hadn't woken up and was the reason they had to break in as she left the keys in the door and so the spares could not be used) were left in an insecure house, this same carer who had been buying food for the lady, rang a man she knows who could make repairs. He came after he'd finished his day's work, in the dark and in the cold outside he hunted around in the lady's shed, found a metal grille, and used what tools he had on him to make the lady's house secure. he also swept up all the glass. He would not take a penny for his work and time! He just wanted to make sure than an old lady was safe for the night. Wow!

So as Advent approaches, I'm going to try, amongst all the chaos of supporting others' needs and organising my own household, to look out for those blessings. Keep myself on more of an even par and find some joy among the tiredness and other hassles of life!

So, here is my piece for this week!

November Week 3 - Shaped by Gratitude
Having done the readings I again listened to all the suggested music. On My Knees seemed to be the most in tune with the words of Psalm 36:9 that I'd found and really wanted to portray: "You are the source of all light, and because of your light we see the light."
On My Knees
There are days when I feel
The best of me is ready to begin
Then there're days when I feel
I'm letting go and soaring on the wind
'Cause I've learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive
I get on my knees
I get on my knees
There I am before the love
That changes
See I don't know how
But there's power
When I'm on my knees
I can be in a crowd
Or by myself almost anywhere
When I feel there's a need
To talk with God He is Emmanuel
When I close my eyes
No darkness there
There's only light
I don't know how but there's power
In the blue skies
In the midnight
When I'm on my knees
David Mullen, Nicole Coleman-Mullen, & Michael Ochs
I looked at my art from earlier in the year and I'd used flowers. Didn't intend doing that again though! Opened up photoshop and spent two hours creating something that was OK but not really what I'd wanted to portray. I'd wanted the feel of something more gentle, more peaceful and delicate. So I started again and used a couple of images I'd captured of different items under the microscope! Then completely by accident I found a piece of art I did years ago, a tulip photo with textures added - and light!
So I blended that with the other images, added the cross and light rays with brushes, brushed a little bit of gold onto the petals on one side, added a border and called it done - finished in about 20 minutes!
This is much more what I was after and funny how I went and used a flower image after all!
Bernie x

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