What It's About

TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Friday, July 29, 2011

ALONE in God

I’m captivated by the idea that one way of living surmounts all the ills of life; at a core it’s the faith-life in, and under, the Lordship of Christ. That’s easy to say. Harder, though, is finding a way through the maze of life, from the practical viewpoint—actually living it! I propose being A.L.O.N.E. in God gets us the:

Ability to...

This is the knowledge, skill and capacity to do something.

Love Unconditionally...

This is much harder than it sounds. It’s allaying judgment. It’s forgiveness granted without thought of self-cost; that is, bearing hurts against us, absorbing them. Only then can we love unconditionally.

Offend Nobody...

Committed to loving unconditionally, we have no motive to offend, and we automatically resist same. We have put aggression behind us.

Never Take Offence...

Following from the above, we’ve also put cowering submission behind us. We don’t see people—in the general flow of life—attacking us personally. Rather, we see them reeling in their own hurt, toward us and others; we understand that hurts directed at us are not really directed at us at all. They’re a response; an inappropriate, though normal, defence mechanism.

Our response to a hurt person, even as they seek to hurt us, is best, compassion; it always has to be if we’re to love unconditionally.

Exist As God’s Own.

The above can only occur if we see ourselves as uniquely sacrosanct to the Lord, our God. Then we can live as, what I call, cosmically alone with God, which is accountable to God alone.

Paradoxical Aloneness

This sort of aloneness provides for any sense of spiritual aloneness, because of the humility we extract in living out this acronym, A.L.O.N.E.

Isn’t it true, we feel most alone when we’re polarised into ourselves and our own problems; most devoid of thought for others and their problems?

If aloneness in God is anything, it’s resetting our bearings within the scope of fellowship—or thought of and for others. From there our problems pale into a better insignificance, and self-pity withers without attention.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Does Forgiveness Often Lag?

Even though God knows we may never fully achieve healing this side of eternity, we’re still asked to try... in this case, to forgive. And, this because of a promise: we wake one morning, and suddenly realise, healed are we!

Who did it, but God?

The issue either no longer matters or the pain’s removed altogether. Only God can do this. No other rationale contends with the miraculous.

Existing in the In-between

Caught between the past and the future, the present holds us—somewhat hurt; acutely at times... chronically at others... residually, the hurt thought recurs.

The in-between is our problem—the time after the hurt but before healing satisfactorily amends the situation.

Forgiveness lags because we’ve been thrown into a reprehensible situation. We learned that life can be horrible; that our relationships can be ripped apart or ripped from us or that we’re easily betrayed; that life and outcomes often change or end unpredictably, unsatisfactorily; with stinging finality.

Forgiveness lags for so many reasons we might be aware of; and for so many reasons we cannot yet (or at times, ever) be aware of.

The ‘why’ may not actually be the issue.

Regardless of all things—including the blessings of forgiveness for those so gifted—we need to bear in mind that it’s okay for the real experience of forgiveness, of healing, to lag.

This also helps us understand why others might find it hard to forgive us; beyond their own best-of-efforts. Why do we judge them for a lack of intimacy when we too have contributed barriers?

A broader perspective prevails...

We can only appreciate the in-between time as a stage of life where God’s teaching us things we don’t yet know, but ought to. The discomfort is for our own good.

God’s Mandate – Keep Trying

God simply requires we keep trying. The effort apportioned in grace will be blessed, eventually. Resilience is its own reward; the by-product, the strength of hopeful joy.

The more we practice forgiveness, the more we learn, the more mature we become.

Hurts can be thought of as feedstock for learning; learning is, in turn, feedstock for growth in maturity—the overall goal of the spiritual person desiring completion.

The complete person is open. They will accept the malleability of the God-designed life. They’ve learned to grasp challenges and trials without thought of recompense. Perhaps they see life through others’ lives, and through God’s sight too.

Their openness to all God has for them will see them blessed, eventually.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honouring All Humanity

“Every human being is God’s creature made in God’s own image.” ~Millard J. Erickson.

I have to admit I frequently think ill of people. It makes me the worst of sinners—for, by it, I reject the God-form in each one, not just the sin in them which upsets.

I hope you won’t think it too presumptuous of me to suggest we all—more or less—partake in dishonouring human beings all about us, even by our thoughts; and, not just the criminal element.

Where we admit this weakness we admit to a weakness only God can help us with.

First, we must see the likeness of God in each human being.

Second, we might also need to appreciate how susceptible we are to this second-most profoundest of sins.

Third, we can commit to seeing, afresh, every boy and girl, man and women in a new light; beyond fractious ideology and brutal difference, as we begin to appreciate the blessings in all manner of diversity.

It doesn’t mean agreement, per se, just acceptance; and that, love.

Honouring all humanity is a high form of honouring God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Dedicated to the people of Norway.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Colours of Love

“Love is patient; love is kind; love in not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irrational or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NRSV).

Love in motion,

Fear demotion,

A kindness potion,

A patience lotion,

So much more than emotion.


Truth embraced,

Humility encased,

Reality faced,

Simply chaste;

Never in haste,

Or self-abased,

Or given to distaste;

Just God-spaced.


Bears iniquity everywhere,

Believes in ways to dare,

Hopes enough to care,

Endures always through prayer.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wildlife Parks and Wonder

Wildlife parks are wonderful,

Looks of curiosity asunder,

Flora and fauna are bountiful,

Nature’s spell we’re under.

“Oohs” and “arghs” ripple,

Applause occasionally too,

Happiness now at the triple,

Adoration’s the emotion now due.

National pride displayed,

Multicultural presence as well,

Everybody’s prejudices downlaid,

Unity’s the mood to gel.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Biology Blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There’s No Other YOU

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.” ~Psalm 139:14 (NRSV).

God wants us to know, that today and all days, there is no second ‘us’. There is no need for comparison with other people, whom we may find inspirational, or tormented by, regarding their success or our ‘failures’.

Wonderful are all of God’s works, including that ‘piece’ so personal—you and I.

When we ask, “Do I cut it?” the answer is an incomprehensible ‘Yes’—God makes no forgeries, mistakes or rush-jobs. Everything the Lord does is planned, meticulous and precise; beyond which we cannot fully comprehend in this realm.

So, we’re the first ‘us’ ever.

There is no template besides the broad human blueprint.

Enjoy the day, and your life, as God planned it to be experienced—at joy knowing how fearfully and wonderfully made you really are.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The ‘Why’ of Tears

Just why do we cry tears? What is their function and purpose? Can we cry too much or not enough? Why do we have dry/wetter days? Simply put, why tears?

Why Tears?

Of many possible answers, tears form an emotional response as far equivalent to our pain as we can manage. Tears are an acknowledgment that we have reached our circumstantial limit. This is not a bad thing; it’s entirely good.

Women may generally be more ‘blessed’ regarding the capacity for tears than men, probably due to cultural and gender norms—certainly genetics and their biology, too.

Many men (and women too) have grown up with the “tears are not cool” or “cry and you’re weak” social stigma. They may struggle to cry, or resist crying. This may explain, in some part, why some cry less.

The ‘nurture’ debate has another factor. Some are given more cause to cry than others due to the depth and magnitude of their losses, for instance.

But others, despite their losses and hurts, don’t seem predisposed to tears as a coping mechanism. They are not stronger per se, they are just different. Some of this is due to genetics, i.e. gender and parental characteristics.

Their Function and Purpose

Crying, as a purpose, is about ameliorating untenable situations. Its function is to, by the agency of the physical shedding of tears, give ‘voice’ to a soul’s admission of emotional ineptitude—for all manner of reasons.

Tears are clearly important in the function and management of grief, adjustment, anger, empathy, even bliss.

Too Much or Not Enough?

It’s difficult to say if we can cry too much or not enough. It’s highly subjective, dependent on a large number of factors.

Some days, or seasons, are dry and some are wet. Sometimes, we cry tears of joy. Can these, possibly, be too much?

Perhaps grief and other emotional strains have their quotient of tears; if this is so, we best give full expression to our tearful emotion as far as our situations will allow.


Of course, none of this is the ‘be all and end all’ on the subject of tears, but hopefully it does open this subject up to more open-minded thought and discussion.

Like many topics, there are numerous theses and books and volumes that could be, and indeed are, written on these sorts of subjects.

We can conclude, however, that tears are good; that they are a healthy expression of what we feel, both consciously and subconsciously.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Privileged Life

Rarely do we awaken bristling with the wellbeing we ought to encase. There are too many distractions. Too many cares. For the number of active disruptions to happiness there are amply copious underlying disturbances.

Our minds are busied.

And a special truth is passed over.

We have privileged lives, to the fact we even exist. This is well besides the desire to consume—to take ‘our share’ of life. (Oh, yes, we’re pretty skilled at that.)

Talk to an infertility doctor sometime about the miracle of life. The obstetrician knows. So does the traffic policeman, the paramedic and the ER nurse. Their nightmares, the voices and faces in the night, bear witness.

Notions of Christmas, vacations, rest, achievement and family (really, the list is endless) confirm for us the reality of unpredictability. Life really is like a box of chocolates. Thanks for that, Forrest Gump.

This is important by nothing less than life is truth; always harder or softer than we expect. Surprises make us cognisant we’re alive. They remind us of our sense for things. However painful or blissful life it is it’s us who live it.

We have our part in history. How amazing is that?

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.