It has been a difficult period for Michaela and me. Life has thrown a few challenges our way over the last few months.

Recently we seem to have found ourselves in the middle of more conflict. Both of us are having a hard time at work, and there has been one or two other issues that have arisen closer to home.

I continue to find conflict so difficult. It disables me. I am caught between wanting to rise up and smite the ‘enemy’ with my club, and the strong conviction that we are called to a way of loving and peace making. Yes there is a time to stand up and be counted, but in my experience, conflict rarely brings the best out of anyone, and the ground we defend easily becomes poisoned- even when are relatively innocent parties.

Conflict also tends to reduce us to the core of who we are- the masks come off, and we are suddenly 15 years old again.

I have found no easy answers- and recognise my own dysfunction whilst hoping for better things.

Because conflict will come to all of us in some form, even if we attempt to live an insulated life- but all the more so if we follow the way of Jesus and set ourselves towards living more openly and deeply.

So I do what I often do in the face of the challenge of life, and start to write…


It squeezes me stiff and sore

Making my brain beat slowly

Taking me down

Bending me like a creaking tree

In an angry wind

I wish I were stronger

Firmer of each conviction

More able to articulate-

Striped in black and white

Not a million shades

Of grey

But aged 43

The man I am

Always I will be

Soft and fragile

Skin thin and stretched

Too easily pricked

And too anxiously defended

Turn me Lord to tenderness

Teach me to forgive

In this sharp and ragged place

Point my way to peace

Because when I am right, I’m also wrong

This castle

Is built on sinking ground

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