Saturday, 30 June 2012

GC the Pig

There was once a piglet named GC. He was a very fat little piglet who loved to travel around the countryside, visiting churches along the way. One day he paused outside a tidy little white-painted timber church. The sign outside the building read “God’s Church.”
A stately giraffe was mowing the lawn. Catching sight of the piglet, she switched off the mower and came to the fence.
“Good morning, Mr Pig.” said the giraffe. “What a lovely day it is today. Are you just passing through our town?”
“Well, I thought I might stay here for a while” replied GC. “I like visiting different churches, you see. My name’s GC.”
“Goodness me” said the giraffe. “So’s mine! What does your GC stand for?”
“Gossip and Criticism” said the piglet. “I love it. I can’t get enough of it. Especially in churches.”
“Oh dear,” said the giraffe, “that really won’t do at all. We don’t want gossip and criticism in God’s church”
“Well what does your name stand for then?” asked Gossip Criticism.
“I’m Grace Charity” replied the giraffe.
“I prefer Gossip and Criticism myself. The more you have of it the bigger and fatter it gets.”
“I don’t doubt it.” replied Grace Charity. “Look, I’m sorry, but we can’t let you in here.”
“I know” said Gossip Criticism “What if I had a name change? Something else starting with GC perhaps? What about Good Christian?”
“Just about everyone in our congregation is a good Christian” said Grace Charity.
“Greed and Corruption?”
“Definitely not!”
“I don’t know why you’re making such a fuss” said the pig. “At the last town they had no problem with Gossip and Criticism. They fed me every Sunday, most of the days in between and especially after church board meetings.”
“I’ve thought about it” said Grace Charity. “How would you feel about becoming Gentle Compassion?”
“Does that grow every time you feed it?”
“I think that if you make it a permanent change, you will find it will grow within you, especially in your heart.” said Grace Charity.
“You know what” said the piglet “I think I’d like to be Gentle Compassion. I think I’d like to be one of the Good Christians and stay here in God’s Church. And maybe if I give up Gossip and Criticism I can be a Good Companion too. Do you think so Grace?”
“I think you’ve made a good decision. I think in your heart you always wanted to be Gentle Compassion” said Grace Charity the giraffe. “Come on inside now and let’s have a cup of tea.”

Friday, 29 June 2012


One of my favourite people in the entire bible is Queen Vashti, who appears briefly in the first chapter of the book of Esther. Vashti was summoned by her husband, King Xerxes, who had been carousing with his mates for a week, to put on her crown and appear in front of his guests to display her beauty. Even though she had been enjoying the benefits of life in the royal palace, partying with her own friends while her husband entertained his guests; and was no stranger to the sumptuous comforts of royal life described in this chapter, Vashti had the temerity to say “No.”

We are not really told the reason for this refusal but it seems likely that Vashti was reluctant to be viewed merely for her physical attributes. Given that the king’s word was law, she was probably aware of the seriousness of her refusal and the likelihood of retribution. I think she was a woman who took her self-respect seriously.

As a woman, I cannot help but be amused by the king’s consternation and referral to his wisest officials for advice as to what to do with his rebellious wife, and their fear that her conduct might be imitated by other women in the kingdom. On a more serious note, however, it does highlight the need for domestic accord and respect between partners in order for families, communities and nations to function effectively.

Vashti was banished from the king’s sight. According to Jewish tradition she was executed; other sources portray her as being held under house arrest. The bible does not elaborate. It is her departure that paves the way for the introduction to the royal household of Queen Esther, who was to save the Jewish exiles in the Persian Empire from annihilation. Esther too was beautiful and spirited and determined to follow the dictates of her conscience. Vashti was unafraid to deny the king. Esther boldly entered his presence without being summoned. King Xerxes must have wondered what was happening with his womenfolk.

I like to imagine that Vashti left the palace with a bundle of jewels, sold them and lived a life of adventure afterwards. Once again we see only a small picture of the whole, a glimpse of how one person’s decision had far-reaching consequences for the Kingdom of God. None of us are immune to having to make difficult choices, to risk offending someone by following our own standards or having to speak up and say “No way!” when somebody expects us to just follow their lead. When we are true to our values despite the consequences, God honours our choices in ways which we may never fully know or understand.

A meditation on the physical body following surgery

This is my physical body, recovering
From the onslaught of the enemy
This body that You, O Lord my creator
Formed in my mother’s womb
You designed me, I was in Your thoughts
When You brought forth the trees and skies
Yet, from the first dark days of the fall
We have learned to be ill at ease
with our bodies
Have listened to the evil one
Who tells us to hate and misuse and abuse them
or to be overly proud and indulgent of them
These bodies that are meant to be
a reflection of Your glory
a temple of Your holiness

So I come to You in this time of recovery
As healing fills my physical body
With grateful thanks that you are restoring
the health that was taken away
That You are doing a good work within me

Your Holy Spirit,
as I sit before You
flows into my being,
Your wonderful, saving, forgiving
and healing presence
flows into my being,
Surrounds and encompasses me
I invite Your healing touch
for every part of me
From the hairs of my head to the soles of my feet
Every cell, muscle, tissue, fibre
Mind and body and soul together
You are the Great Physician, Father.

Lord Jesus, You have gone before,
and experienced every pain and fear
that we bear, and so much more.
Thank You that what was accomplished on the cross
was for our salvation
That we can know Your presence
and love You
Until the time
that these flawed bodies are exchanged
for heavenly ones
And we who falter and struggle in the shadows
We will see You face to face in Your glorious light.


This mediatation and the poem "A hand in the darkness" were written following cancer surgery in 2000. A diagnosis of cancer is always traumatic for a family. I am so grateful to God that His presence was with me throughout, lovingly demonstrated by my husband and children, extended family and friends, church family, schoolteachers and the medical staff at Royal Brisbane Hospital. I praise God for recovery and the gift of many more years with my loved ones.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


We live in a world that promotes exclusivity. It’s a pyramid shaped society, with room at the top for the certain few, with very many climbing up the various ladders to reach that apex. We talk about social climbers, ascending the corporate ladder, buying the upmarket address. The world tells us that if we can engineer ourselves into a position where we can feel superior to others by belonging to a small, select group, we have achieved something.
How different this was to the life and principles of Jesus Christ. He travelled throughout the land of Israel, preaching His message and performing His miracles to all who would follow Him. He ministered to noblemen and officials, shepherds and beggers. He loved people who were traditionally excluded by the general public and sadly, by those in religious life. He associated with lepers, women of dubious morals, taxmen, zealots, criminals, the poor and needy, sick and dying. He didn’t consider himself to be too important to make time for children.
Christians are the last people on earth who should feel exclusive. The bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) but that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8) There was nothing that anyone could do to make ourselves worthy of what we have received. What utter gratitude we owe our Heavenly Father for the price paid for our salvation.
Because we have been given such a gift, we owe it to the world around to share it with others. There is no excuse for becoming a small, select community that fails to care for the unchurched, both at home and overseas. We all have workmates, neighbours, family and others who are dying inside without the gospel.
And what of that new person who visits our church? Or the person who is sitting alone, week after week, in the pews, while we sit with our same groups of friends? What about the one who hurries away afterwards or stands alone in the courtyard, on the fringes while we chatter away unaware in our twos and threes, with cups of tea in hand? It’s quite surprising, when you share with people, how many Christians who love the church service are anxious about the social interactions afterward and feel isolated. It’s not a rare phenomenon by any means. Blessed are the ones who widen the circles and welcome others into their midst.
“He [God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9) God wants everyone to come into relationship with Him, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. How wonderful to be included by Him. He is inclusive and wants us to be likewise.

A Hand in the Darkness

Blankets wrapped around me
warm as your loving arms,
I stretch out a hand in the darkness,
Knowing tension and tiredness
yet cannot rest.
Feeling afraid and bruised again,
my energy drained
by the constant demands of time.
I stretch out a hand,
knowing You are there to take it.
Even in the night
You are the night-light, shining
brighter than the stars.
Your hand is in mine, comforting,
reassuring, energizing.
Your hand fills me with Your caring presence,
Streaming into my tired soul
and filling it with love.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Amazing creatures

"How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104 v.24 (NIV)

God's workmanship is so amazing! He made a planet full of intricate, diverse and complex plants and animals. It's a joy to capture on camera a beautiful blossom, a busy insect, a shy reptile. This young banded blue-tongued skink was sitting on the wall in my native habitat garden this afternoon.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Church hurt : Euodia and Syntyche

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”(Philippians 4:2-3 NIV)

In the course of my life I’ve known many women named Ruth, Rebekah, Sarah, Anna, Deborah and Mary. I’ve never met a single person called Euodia or Syntyche. (There is in fact, a pretty pink-blossomed Euodia tree grown here in Queensland but I digress.) Some biblical names conjure up associations with grace, strength and beauty, but in the case of Euodia and Syntyche, the association is, unfortunately, with discord.

The short (4 chapter) epistle to the church at Philippi is one that resounds with joy and encouraging words- it only takes a quick read through to identify numerous Sunday school bible verses therein. Yet in his final greetings, Paul singles out a conflict between two women that was of obvious concern.

I do feel rather sorry for Euodia and Syntyche. These ladies were active in the life of the Philippian church, working hard for its purposes, when a rift had occurred. As with many of the people that are named in the Bible, we are only given a tiny glimpse of their lives and sometimes giant deductions which may or may not be correct are made from a little information. Whatever had happened between these two women, it was significant enough for Paul to have learned about it.

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche….” There is something tender about Paul’s words to these women, a far cry from the almost satirical references to the pair we may sometimes find in the comments of others. He understands the pain of hurt within the body of Christ. It is always unexpected and divisive. He emphasizes their contributions. They were not two silly women who had nothing better to do but fight. Sadly and ironically, their names were to be forever linked together, probably something neither of them would have wished for.

Paul acknowledges that there was a problem. This was not something to be swept under the carpet. He acknowledges that both women were working for the cause of the gospel and were Christians with their names in the Lamb’s book of life. Paul’s warning against false doctrine at the end of the preceding chapter is enough to indicate that this dispute was not in that sphere.

Paul states that they are to “agree in the Lord.”  There is a sense that they are to both focus on Jesus, rather than each other or the problems that had divided them. When studying scripture, it is always useful to look at the verses that precede and follow an item being studied. After declaiming the false teachers and those with earthly priorities in chapter three, in the first verse of chapter 4, Paul exhorts his friends to “stand firm.” Satan is at his busiest in the Christian church, for he knows that this is where his opposition is, not in the acquiescent world. Then, as now, quarrels cause  disunity and distract the individual and the church from its main task of spreading the gospel.

Now, as then, it may seem impossible to resolve a rift, such are the hurts and behaviours and personalities of the people involved. Yet Jesus said that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. ( Luke 18:27; Mark 10:27 and Matthew 19:26). With prayer, humility and surrender, disputes can be used for God’s ultimate glory.

Paul also requests that the church assist Euodia and Syntyche to resolve their differences, acknowledging that this was not being done.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” says Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5. Paul asks a trusted colleague to mediate in the affair. The word “mediate” means to “carry between.” Unfortunately in some instances what is carried between folk in the event of a church dispute is slander and gossip.

We are given instructions, particularly in Matthew chapter 18, regarding the process of settling disputes according to Christian principles.  We are also provided with principles fostering repentance and forgiveness in the gospels. Sadly, the world is awash with folk who have been hurt in churches. Whole ministries exist to apply balm to the wounded. Congregations are ripped apart in rifts, ministry careers are ruined and lives shattered, sometimes by the words and actions of a very few. We cannot afford to trivialise or ignore quarrels.

Yet all is not lost. When we look beyond the quarrel of Euodia and Syntyche, the following verse scintillates: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil 4:4). The chapter continues with reminders that our value is found in pleasing God, not man. Paul explains that we are vindicated by being gentle, praying to God and  experiencing His peace. We are to focus on the things of God – pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy; and to concern ourselves with doing His will. Then we will know His peace and joy that surpasses any earthly trials.

We don’t know what happened to the two ladies. Perhaps Euodia married, had seven children and purchased a network of flourishing vineyards, providing the church with much needed finances. Maybe Syntyche taught herself to read and write and undertook several missionary journeys to England. We do know that the church in Phillipi continued to grow and flourish, which is what they both would have wanted.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On this narrow road....

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (New International Version of the bible, Gospel of  Matthew, chapter 7: verses13-14)

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
 Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken”

Which path are you on? Who is leading you?
What, or who, is causing you to leave the path you are on?

There are many junctions in the Christian path, many side roads that are dead ends, many elective detours and many paths that lead straight back to that other major highway.

Choose your guide:

The Bible is an infallible roadmap. Better than the most sophisticated GPS, it will never cease to provide direction to God.

The Holy Spirit, (aka the Parakletos, the One who comes alongside) is God’s gift to His people, providing indwelling counsel. No better compass could ever point to God.

Prayer is our connection to God, more trustworthy than the most powerful mobile phone with internet connection (and it doesn’t need batteries). When we pray for God’s direction, wisdom and guidance, He provides it.

Choose your backpack:

When we are laden down with the delights or cares of this world we cannot travel easily. There may be some rocks that we cannot voluntarily ditch from our baggage, but we don’t need to collect others along the way – grudges, riches, accolades and possessions and many other little pebbles that weigh us down. There always seems to be those shining pebbles, just off the path.

Choose your companions:

There's no shortage of wannabee guides who would like you to follow them. Be very sure of where human “leaders” are taking you. How do their words and actions line up with scripture? Is their ministry Christ-centred and Biblically based? Pray continually for wisdom and discernment for yourself and for your church leaders and community, for we are required as part of the Christian life to be part of a church congregation.

There is no greater joy in this life than to be on the Eternal road, love, saved, forgiven and enjoying fellowship with our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, our blessed Trinity, here and now; and anticipating the joy to come when we are in the presence of our Lord, forever worshipping Him.

Enjoy the journey. God bless you.

Baptism and Tears

My eldest son was baptised on Sunday (17th June).  He went down into the waters of our church baptismal pool and thankfully, came up again. We celebrated his faith in Christ, his obedience to Christ’s example and direction to be baptised, and the symbolic death to self and washing and cleansing of sin that baptism represents. It was a night of joy, faith and hope. Both of our two boys are such a blessing from God. We are so thankful that they have chosen to commit their lives to Him and so grateful to be part of a church which has grown them through excellent teaching and caring fellowship.

Does this mean anything in the greater scope of the universe, the eternal struggle between the forces of heaven and the powers of darkness: one young man being washed in a tub of water?  I believe it does. I hope my son’s life is a witness of much, to many, as well as being a joy to our Heavenly Father.

The same night’s sermon focused on an outcast who found her place in God’s kingdom. A woman who had led an immoral life, who disrupted Simon the Pharisee’s dinner party by weeping at Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair and pouring a jar of expensive perfume over them is described in Luke’s gospel, chapter 7, verses 36-48. She, like so many others, had an encounter with Jesus that resulted in her total devotion to him.

There is always conviction when encountering Jesus. Yet along with conviction is the equally compelling factor of His loving forgiveness of those who, in repentance and faith, commit themselves to His mercy.

I wondered, as I listened to our Pastor speaking, what her actions had cost the woman. The perfume was worth much and she readily sacrificed it. Her reputation – well, she was probably used to being gossiped about. Even to perform the scandalous act of letting her hair loose and wiping Jesus’ feet and kissing them – was this not perhaps something that she was accustomed to doing? She would have been no stranger to spurious glances and scorn in the streets and no doubt had hardened her heart to them.

I think, and this is only my personal opinion as one who finds it very difficult to cry in the presence of anyone else, that the greatest cost to this immoral woman was her tears. She allowed herself to cry – once released, a great flood of the pent-up hurt and despair and longing she had felt for perhaps many years. She became vulnerable for Jesus. She allowed herself to be, publicly, fragile and human, exposed in a very different way. She expressed what she most wanted and did not have, to love and be loved for herself in return. Like the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery, she had finally found a man she could relate to in love.

God’s word is full of images of water- rivers, wells, fountains, seas, rainfall, tears and more – washing, baptizing, cleansing, refreshing and healing. Psalm 56 tells us that God keeps an account of all our tears. They are never unnoticed. This woman’s tears washed our Saviour’s feet, in the same way that Mary of Bethany would anoint his feet with nard in a similar act of worship prior to his crucifixion (John 12:1-8). Christ himself washed His disciples’ feet, and commanded us to do the same for one another. (John 13:1-16). And we do.

This beautiful story reminds us that in our brokenness we become whole. Just as the tears shed by this lady washed the grime of the world from the feet of Jesus, so her faith in Him washed the stain of sin from her life. Never would she have felt so clean. And what Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, could do for this unnamed woman, two thousand years ago, He can still do for every man and woman who comes to Him today.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


In the stillness of a winter night
when all the world is hushed and gone to bed
I walk alone the garden paths
and watch the myriad stars
A jewellery box of glittering gems
that spiral in the heavens overhead
and flood my wondering eyes with light

Beloved stars, there in the south they lie-
Mirrabooka, Southern Cross, that of my heart
Alpha Centauri, nearest star, the one that points the way
to the heavenly signature, as of old, so clear
That God who made the heavens, night and day
and all the earth is with us, ever near
The One who bore the Cross will never die.

The clock reads three-sixteen am, awake again
I walk the floors in restless, sorrowing mind
Searching for some comfort, He provides
through the window pane, in eastern skies,
One brilliant, pulsing star that shines alone
A diamond in the indigo sky, it whispers plain
Look up to me, the Morning Star-
Though I was mocked and crucified
Forever I rise and reign.

Praise to You, Father of Lights
Jesus, light of this world, God’s gift of grace
Holy Spirit, let Your burning presence stay-
A compass needle sure as any star
Guiding us homeward
Until the stars fall and pass away
And we see Your shining face
Lord of all our days and all our nights.

Copyright Josephine Collett 2012

Small Things

Dawn comes
with a faint lightness
on the eastern horizon
before the splendour
of a yellow sun rising beyond the night

Morning is heralded
with one bird’s cry
a clarion call sounding
in the clear air
raising a vibrant chorus

The thaw of winter snow
with one small rivulet
as tentative rays of light glisten
over the frozen drifts

Spring emerges
with the budding of a lifeless branch
and the first faint piercing blades of green
new life appearing
through the dormant earth

So it is with the heart’s seasons
Changes begin
with the small and tenuous
the fragile, unexpected moments
of peace and wonder
May your heart know the pleasure
of small things
until we see the joy of the Lord’s presence

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Birthday Poem

How much happiness can be wrapped in one person?
Like an ocean on a sunny day or a mountain,
Tossed with currents and undercurrents, shadows
and a wild heart full of deep emotion.
How blessed the radiant smile, the laugh that breaks
a solemn countenance, how deep the love
of faithful constancy, how strong the ties
of kinship, friendship, brotherhood and mine,
the ties of motherhood and birth, the stories told
of years now passed forever into time.
One thing is certain and will forever be
This child of my heart has his own existence here
In memories of love, in scenes of joy caught unaware
Baby boy laughing with bucket and spade
And the man now grown, searching another sea
with visions of all that lies beyond for him there.

copyright Jo Collett 2012

A Childhood Memory

He sits amid
the kitchen pots and plates
and flicks a saucepan lid
with practised hands
that it will spin upon its burnished rim
and spin again in sunlight
tossing arcs of gold
while shadows dance
in patterns on the floor
His loving eyes will follow
every turn
and arching arms enfold
its shining space
It slows and stumbles
gurgles to a halt
The silence fills
his open mouth
he gently lifts it in the air
to spin again
While all around
the world waits

copyright Jo Collett 1994
First published in Scope, the magazine of Fellowship of Australian Writers in Queensland 

this poem was written when the eldest of my two sons was about four years old and I was coming to terms with his diagnosis of autism. Like a rock thrown into a calm pond, this disability was to create ripples which touched every surface of the lives of my husband, my younger son and myself. My little plate-spinning toddler is now a young man who works, drives his own car, studies and has a deep faith in God. To those families just starting out down this road, I encourage you to hold fast to faith, hope and love. It's a difficult journey and not one that any of us would choose, but God goes before and beside all of the way.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Here I am for your pleasure-
Enjoy my humiliation,
Savor my degradation,
Even though I asked for it,
Chose this slow agonising death
in the name of love,
by way of trust
And you watched with your lustful eyes,
Dragged me with your greedy hands,
Relish the sight of me-
Wretched, shamed, uncovered,
before I die.

There are sandals on the ground beside me,
A pair of dusty feet,
He kneels, graceful,
in this place of torment,
And with a pointing finger scribes
on the parched, barren sand beneath my gaze
A cross.

He stands before me, shielding me,
Risen, he remonstrates,
His voice of authority, challenging,
Warning, convincing
and I drown in the peace of it,
and I look at
the cross,
His cross.

They are gone and
I am forgiven,
I am free,
Free to seek his face
as he tenderly looks at the person I was
and who I will be.
I see him
Who has taken my death from me,
Who has felt my pain,
and given me life again,
I see him, beautiful, my Saviour.

(An interpretation of the story of the woman caught in adultery, found in the Bible gospel of John chapter 8, verses 1-11.)

copyright Josephine Collett 2012

What did Jesus write in the sand? John provided this little detail in his account, and there is no little detail in the Bible not given for a purpose or worthy of reflection. I personally like to think that it was something for the woman, as her eyes, more than anyone's, would have been on the ground. Given that many women at that time were uneducated and illiterate, maybe a cross would have been a message Christ gave to her.  I like to imagine so ( and was interested to discover Geoff Bullock, in his book "Hands of Grace"  postulated the same).Of course, we do not know. A friend of mine likes to think that Jesus was writing "Where is the man?"

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Le Dejeuner des Canotiers

"The Luncheon of the Boating Party" is a famous artwork by the French impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir. As the title implies, it depicts a group of people enjoying a pleasant social day together, boating followed by lunch.

An interesting exercise with this painting is to follow the gaze of each of the characters depicted. They are nearly all looking at someone, but not the person they are situated closest to, or with – their attention is elsewhere. What the artist intended by this is a matter of conjecture and imagination. The observer is left to flights of fancy, as is the case with all great art. We, the viewer, are also part of the group, observing whichever character attracts us.

Perhaps Renoir was trying to show a group of young people who were still trying to discover their correct partners. Perhaps he was depicting the inherent loneliness within some relationships, a desire for what was missing. An exception in the painting is the rapt attention of the young woman depicted in the bottom left corner, who is gazing at her dog, which in turn looks directly at her. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Renoir depicted this lady, who was to become his wife in future years, as having a firmly-focused gaze.

There is something almost disturbing beneath the pleasant social interaction. It is so human. Is the lady with the glass to her mouth socially inept, still compulsively drinking when everyone else has finished? The young, warmly-wrapped man, hovering over the girl in blue so much that he is pushing her sideways, is he jealous? When you look at the detail of their hands on the chair she seems to be fending him off. The muscular boatman to the left of the painting is observing the well-dressed, slight men – is he uneasily comparing his brawn to their business acumen? There are so many stories here, so many little details that add to the intrigue.

So it is with our lives. What are we looking at? Who are we comparing ourselves to? Who is busy watching us when we think we are unobserved? Who is the centre of our attention?

God, like ourselves beyond the painting, is the master observer. He sees our interactions. He knows every story. He understands our longings and unfulfilled ambitions. Satan, that master storyteller of lies, convinces us that our own relationships, the ones we should be attending to more than any other, are nowhere near as interesting or fulfilling as what others have, or what we could have elsewhere. We see the results everywhere in the world, in the constant attack and breakdown of so many marriages, friendships and other relationships. So many people in this world are captivated by the search for a partner who can fulfil their innermost desires, a search which only results in more loneliness and pain.

God alone provides what humanity cannot. He desires first an attention as rapt as that woman gazing at her four-legged companion. God alone is utterly trustworthy and true to His promises. He is completely faithful to us. When we grow in God through reading His word, the Bible; prayer and fellowship in a Christian church community, we develop a loving relationship second to none.

We cannot make fallen humans our Gods. They were never intended to be that way and will only fail us.

That is not to say God does not want us to interact with people, far from it.
When God is our first priority, He will lead and guide in all our other relationships and they will fall into their proper perspective. And if we are yielded to Him, His Holy Spirit will work not only to enhance our own lives, but will draw others into His kingdom.

Look deeply at God, so the people looking at you may see Him too.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2 (New International Version of the Bible)