a father’s prayer

Mark 9: 21-29

When; how; where did Jesus teach his disciples prayer?

Here is an overlooked passage

“When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

The father is the faithful prayer. He recognises his personal unbelief. He holds this unbelief as he embraces his son. In the face of daily disease; disappointments; illnesses; possessions, he cries out in a father’s prayer for belief. Healing follows.

I pray:

Lord, I want to have faith; believe; love; empathy- fill

me with faith; empty me of my unbelief



how does the ‘reversal ‘ call in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals against LeBron James inform my life?

So, in game 1 LeBron was outside the reviewable circle, had feet planted and got a positive call (charging on KG) for his efforts.

But, not only was the cAll reviewed, it was reversed and then a ‘win’ becomes a loss in game one of the NBA finals.

My, the essential question about all this is;

If LeBron can’t get a call, what chance do I, we have?

Birthdays forgotten by your family, even your twin? Check.

Still waiting for your Christmas present in July? Check.

Father’s Day forgotten? Check.

So, why can’t I get a ‘call’?

Well, I think I have a great deal of company in this august overlooked, unseen group. I can’t say why but I can respond reflectively with some personal insights. Here are some:

1. When one call goes against you, expect more to come fast and furiously.

George Hill misses a free throw; JR thinks the Cavs are ahead and holds the ball.

Forgotten for a birthday? Minor stuff. A child will need monies; lots of money; they will ask; another family Manet becomes ill; job changes; movings and divorces. Parents pass or need cares. Fast and furious all comes

When troubles come, they come in cascades. Deal with it.

2. The higher you preform; serve; rescue; be the life of your team, the party, the greater the expectations.

LeBron can’t continuously play the entire 49 minutes (plus one). Soon his heart, his body, his spirit and soul will empty. A stream needs water flow in to be refreshed; it can t solely flow out. But friends, colleagues and even watchers, strangers, expect you, expect more.

3. Referees, as judges, will rule and find you wanting in key moments.

You have preformed and won in the past. It is human nature to root, consciously or unconsciously, for the undergoes, pot against LeBron. Whether by envy or mouse or misapplication of power, those who sit in as referees in your life will find ways to see Not your work or you but what they desire: themselves.

To find for you, to rule in your favour only confirms to them their shortcomings-what and who they will never be.

They can’t truly see you, the calls or even themselves. Don’t expect the blind to see; the deaf to hear; the heartless to feel. They can’t.

4. How does LeBron respond to all of the above? He takes a pause and plays as deeply, as passionately, as fully as as he can becomes he loves the game even when it doesn’t love him He is always, all ways, all in.

Casablanca, in the ‘Blue Parrot’

Ferrari: ‘It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles. ‘ Ferrari, the Blue Parrot proprietor in ‘Casablanca.’

Rick, the proprietor of Rick’s Cafe American, is the miracle for Victor and Ilsa, fugitives from the Nazis. He gifts precious letters of transit to these ungrateful betrayers. They have no idea the cost Rick pays for these letters: his spirit and soul; blood and flesh; his heart and dreams. His love.

Betrayed twice, Rick still believes, He believes in actions based on love. The hard guy is a romantic sap. He choose a woman who was unfaithful to both her husband Victor and to him. Surrounded by betrayers, liars, the ungrateful, Rick is alone.

Alone, (though he has a walking companion) he walks away in the fog of the, his past. Watched; judged; measured each and every moment, he sees, yet accepts, no views of himself but his own and a higher power, if one exists for him. It may exist, but not for him. (The rescuer is the only higher power in this film)

He is doomed as a Flitcraft in the Maltese Falcon (chapter 6-not in the film) to aimlessly roam the earth.- faithlessly searching for unconditional healings. Never forthcoming; continuously beyond his reach, true love for Spade, Rick, and all film noir detectives, all are to live and speak the Flitcraft parable without knowing they are Flitcraft: ‘rich’ hobos wanderers walking the earth in endless circles. They, we, are become our own Nazis. Doomed to wander but never depart. Rick performed the last miracle for others.

We are not to leave Casablanca.

in a metro

in metros, subways, tubes

‘In a Station of the Metro’
Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.

‘I want mercy for myself; justice for everyone else’

the good, things I like to do, have on my train trips

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

if you are 60 years of age in London, all tube and bus rides are free

for one set fare in NYC you can ride all day from one end to the other (Dyre Avenue, the Bronx, to Coney Island, Brooklyn)

musicians play in the W always of the subway in NYC, from singers to actors; from violinists to drums and more

helpful, friendly staff ( Paris, London, Europe calling)

people giving up seats to seniors, Mums, with children or pregnant with children to come, or to give a seat up for anyone at all

public transportation is the ultimate going green

the baddies, peoples and things who are driving me crazy

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

people who stand still in the middle of passageways to trains

those who take up more than one space. standing or sitting

those who stand by a subway/metro/tube doors (and won’t move for love, money or the disabled- this is London calling)

people who play their cell phones loud on the subway (NYC calling)

loud talkers

slow walkers

slow walkers who are reviewing the mobiles/cells

slow walking tourists (please stand aside, preferably to the right)

those who block the escalators by standing next to a companion speaking and oblivious to those who want to walk on the left (please stay right, in your slow lane)

slow walkers )did I say this already?)

the uglies, the unthinkable, the unmentionables, the unimaginable

changing service without any notice (NYC, NOT calling)

‘Weekend works’ with ‘free’ shuttle bus services

urine puddles, (especially in NYC at Penn Station when the weather gets hot) stains and smells on the Metros stairwells, walkways and elevators’ enclosures.

full meals with their assortments of: drippings, visuals and odours left on seats and floors in subway cars and stations

large packages and or bags on seats in cars replacing the living

unbearable announcements on cars

people pressing onto you, touching you, on packed trains

vermin in the subway eating piazza

muffled, muttered, the incomprehensible
oral announcements on the NYC transit cars (I used to tell excited noisy primary students on field trips to understand carefully to such announcements as the speaker was giving out the secrets of the universe-we never could quite get these secrets translated)

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

home, homeless, homelessness/after easter4

home, the homeless and homelessness, after east thoughts4

a quick two sentence summary: home is a safe place; the homeless here -NYC- hope for home. They home the HRA and the NYCHA will receive, review and not lose their documentation papers; they hope against hope.

And when they are experiencing ‘homelessness’ , they are like a Sandra Bullock character ) in the film ‘gravity’) – alone, defying, floating -flotsam in space. Homeless, but now without hope, no hope of safety…


You see, homeless as a word describes a person, an individual. Homelessness describes not a being but a state of being. Now you are not a person or a thing, but a ‘place.’ But a place without people or memories; without personal effects or even daffodils or birds. A place of deep, deep darkness that is only visible to you. Homelessness.

Lear experienced such a state on the heath during his horrific storms. Without daughters or knights; without fellowship of children and the possibility of grandchildren, without a kingdom -he is alone, a fool.

A fool as Jesus.

As Jesus alone on the cross-forshaken, assigned a single, closed, splintered unbearable space to hang in….

On the cross, Jesus, 100% God and 100% man experienced true homelessness. Forsaken by his disciples, by Peter, by Judas and His community on earth; He is also forshaken by His Heavenly Father. No home on earth; no resting place in the heavens, home is a cross.

A space devoid of hope.

Why? He willingly went to this cross, this abyss, so all could have heavenly spaces: resting places with a Father who loves us.

Recently my Father passed. In the few weeks he was healthy and feeling as well as thinking right, he saw me doing all I could to love him and -unprompted – he said before sleep, ‘Charles, I love you.’

When others fail me, when my friends leave me, when children do not speak into my life, I hang onto the resting place my father’s

( see these 2 articles about the homeless in America and LA)



draft, 3 after easter: a third thief

draft-the third thief, after easter 3

Luke 23:39-43 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

‘One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”’

Corinthians 9:15 New International Version (NIV)

‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.’

Jesus is always with sinners and Pharisees; lepers and wedding quests; the hurting and those who quest. He is always near, by ‘bottoms’ and the outcasts. Even at his death moment on Our cross, he is with thieves. And what do those on the ‘bottoms’ desire?

A thief speaks for me, for us, and asks ‘ Jesus remember me….’Luke 23:41

With all my failings and thefts, with all my hurts and joys, I desire someone to hold me safely, to remember – me. I desire Jesus’ thoughts. To be remembered.

Eternal salvation is tied into memory. From the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ to Remembrance Day in the U.K. and the musical ‘Carousel’, all of us desire in some way to be Billy Bigelows and thieves of time. If remembered, we control time. But we can’t humanly control the present; forgot controlling about future. Until…

….this third thief.

And because of this third thief we can steal time. The future; present and especially the past. Jesus, the third thief, steals from the evil one the power of troubling thoughts of life’s meaning: why am I here? do I have purpose? Will she, He, my children or grandchildren remember me? Does my past doom me?

These questions could have had ultimate power over us. How? They hint at a possibility that our lives and who we are do not matter. But they do …

because of him,

Jesus redeems our lives; our memories; our times. He is our Bilbo, a burglar who takes from the evil dragon Smaug. He steals back for Dwarves their memories, their past, and their futures.

And this is what Jesus steals back for us.. He promised the thief beside him that ‘together’ they will that very day me in paradise . So Jesus promises us the same as thieves. Eternal life and memory. A home. Why?

Because thieves matter. The homelessness of a cross by Jesus’ theft becomes a home. A thief’s home.

This is why Jesus lived and walked; laughed and cried with us: to create a safe eternal home from a stark and splintered cross.

Jesus cares for …

all feelings, all people, all -matters . He is home.


eq (essential questions) :

thoughts, questions on ‘holding’

what am I holding? what is holding me? Into whose hands have I placed myself? Into, into whose hands, to whom, will I (be) long to?

what am I withholding? what do I think, imagine, feel, sense is being withheld from me ?

who held me…who let me deeply, deeply allowed me to hold them on, in my past ?

who holds me? today, tomorrow!?

my safe-home is where I can hold and feel held. Home.