What It's About

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The 3 C’s of Celection

How can we be sure,
A partnership will be right?
How will we know,
It will be blessed in God’s sight?
There are three qualifications,
We need to ensure are in place,
Through Character, Competence, and Chemistry,
In a partnership, we see God’s grace.
Character, Competence and Chemistry
In any partnership – marriage, employment, friendship, etc – we need these three qualities; to be found and to be nurtured. A partnership has little or no future if these components are neglected.
Christian Character makes us ready for partnership. Character is the predecessor of competence, because character is the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, where competence is the ‘what’. Character cannot be faked, because it has an ideology about it driven by the values we hold dearest.
Character is who we are when the lights are turned off. It’s the material incandescent before God, yet dim before humanity when reputation takes precedence.
Competence is so fundamentally necessary. It’s about being prepared to give more than we receive – by also being humbly able to receive – is vital in any partnership. To give more than we receive establishes a thriving plant of fruitfulness. Competence, in the context of partnership, is all about the fruit of kindness, patience, compassion, all coming together in grace. What we have here is spiritual competence, which is a meld of mental and emotional competence.
Chemistry is the final component. As we step into the idea of partnership there has to be a meeting of minds and hearts. There has to be some essential alignment in ideas and method. We don’t need to be clones, but we do need some convergence of purpose, vision, and values.
Without chemistry it can seem that an abundance of character and competence comes to nought, but, equally, character and competence enhance the chances of chemistry coming together.
Effective partnership is undergirded by character within both, the competence of both, and chemistry between both.
There is little that come be done for a partnership that fails for these qualities.
If one person has character and relational competence they still need to discern if there is chemistry between them and another person. But where there is a lack of character or competence, the partnership will inevitably struggle.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

There is the mode of cause and effect that sweeps its way through life, taking no prisoners. What we are exposed to affects us, and none of us live in a vacuum. If we have been sexually, physically, or psychologically abused as children, is it any wonder that we will have an intense distrust for adult and power figures? Is it any surprise that if we have suffered the routine and continuous betrayal of an adult attachment figure (or a string of them) that we might not trust humanity at all, and even have hatred for people?
Hurt people hurt people.
Most really hurt people were hurt as a function of having no control over such circumstances that damaged them. More importantly than ever it is the hurt person – the one that hurts people – who needs our tolerance of love. This is especially the case regarding a person who does not want to hurt people, but cannot help doing so.
Everyone is who they are for good reason. If someone has a particular issue – that trust is hard or even impossible – then it’s probably that that person’s trust has been betrayed time and time again.
If we can love a person who appears to us to be unlovable we overcome fear and we give them a chance of seeing love through us. Even better than this, they might see grace at work.
Grace transcends what we can do. When we are willing to step forth in faith to love someone, God adds to our spiritual contingent the item of grace that serves as a miracle.
When we can understand a person’s character and personality have been shaped by their experiences, then we have the wisdom to believe they can be rebuilt and restored.
Everyone deserves a second chance. And when we can conjure a possibility like that with anyone in our midst, then we are ready to love. The theology of the second chance is the gospel message in a nutshell.
If God can love each of us despite our flaws, we can love the next person despite theirs.
Love is something that will win the day, every day. Love cannot be conquered, and grace is something that will always transcend the explainable.
It is up to us to love and to embody grace, by continuing to honour God in giving people the second chances they both need and, because of grace, deserve.

© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Journey Into a Grief Observed

A journey travelled together,
One that unites us in our grief,
This sojourn into eternity,
Bears no constancy of relief.
Bridging the chasm of loss,
Seems quite impossible now,
As we consider what’s ahead,
For what life is about to endow.
Beautiful baby of ours,
Alive as we speak,
Beautiful baby of ours,
To think life now’s your peak.
Hard as that is to imagine,
We have to hold on to peace,
Somehow we will be able,
To loosen our grasp to release.
Into God’s sweet hands,
Your life will inevitably go,
We are God’s humble servants,
In faith it’s peace you’ll know.
For us left behind,
We will cherish you,
We will honour every day,
And hold your memory true.
On any given day it is hard to know what to feel, but God’s sweet peace – which is inexorably indefinable – is ours. I can tell my wife shares this peace, which is tinged with a sense for resignation that would be utterly despairing if it were not for God, our Saviour.
We know that we will hold our baby, warm in our arms. We know that our baby will not respond in the way a life would respond. We know we will be heartbroken. We will be pushed to the point of having nothing left than tears. Tears will merge into tiredness and we will rest, albeit with spirits in cosmic unrest. We know, and yet we also know that God will heal us.
God will open up our hearts as in a tin can and others’ love will pour into us.
God’s Spirit will fill us where we are empty, and where there are times of abject emptiness that seems as though our Lord is not answering, we may know that our Sovereign is giving us ever more space to absorb the gravity of the moment.
The days will slow, and the hours will be like days. We will be haunted by things we cannot, for a time, resolve.
We will also be given the opportunity to experience what many, many human beings experience – the reality of loss in a world that does not handle loss very well.
We have a chance, and the opportunity, to be real, to be awake, to the reality. We are preparing, but there are only so many preparations that can possibly be made.
Of course, we thank you, most sincerely, for your love and your prayers!
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Valuing Diversity is the Key to Your Happiness

Relationships are the root of our joy
Despite the fact people sometimes annoy.
Cherishing diversity in others is best
So with joy and peace we can rest.
The hardest, most sullen life is intolerant to difference. But when we value diversity, culturally, racially, and philosophically, we are unified with each other and we experience love.
Love is what makes the difference in all things. A lack of love means there is conflict. But when love shines any conflict can be recovered from. Indeed, as we approach conflict in love, provided both are seeking a work-through, there is the enhancement of trust. But each must value diversity in the other.
If we cannot value diversity we are intolerant and such a tight frame for understanding is bound to be challenged daily. We are destined for disappointment, discouragement, and resentment.
But when we value diversity we climb above many legalisms and we show we are in receipt of love, because we can proffer love to the other. We may disagree with their views, but we may still honour their viewpoint; their unique contribution to the body of life and use of their life experience.
Love is the valuing of another. They stand there before us asking, “Do you accept me as I am?” or “Do you reject me without first coming to truly know me?”
What is our response to God? We will love or we will refuse to love. We will value difference in this world or we will value sameness and have no room to accommodate others who are simply different.
The essence of happiness is about fitting into the world. Valuing diversity is an inclusive paradigm. As we sow tolerance, we reap the love of others. As we affirm others’ fit in the world, we, ourselves, find ourselves fitting, and we, also, are affirmed.
Love others and we, too, are loved. When we are loved we are happy, because we have been accepted and not rejected. When no threat exists against us we are set to fly on the wings of love.
So, it is up to us. Will we love? Will we love by honouring the diversity of life in all the world? It doesn’t mean we have to side with evil or anything like that.
Even in those who are doing the wrong thing is a person to love, to accept, and to connect with in love.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

When Light-Hearted Chatter Takes a Turn

Turn the corner and who do I see?
It’s someone who knows me, how could this be?
I’m not feeling confident, assured or brave,
This is a moment I could easily waive.
In awkwardness I stand anticipating her words,
Oh how I’d rather be on that branch with the birds!
Then she says what I horribly expect,
How could she know, but the moment’s about to be wrecked.
She says, “Oh, you’re pregnant, how exciting for you!”
How can she know, inside I’m sorrowfully blue?
I cannot contend with the emotion I’ll emit,
Oh in my stomach there’s that deep pit.
The moment she awaits my answer resembles my womb,
Pregnant is the pause and I’m feeling the doom,
How can I answer and honour what’s true?
Oh how will this turn out and whatever am I to do?
It’s clear that she who stands before me is becoming confused,
How am I to communicate my most mournful news?
The moment’s gestation has reached full term,
How do we get past this moment making us squirm?
Excitedly, the person approaches, “Are you pregnant?”  She or he is not to know, this is not a good news story.  This is a horrible moment and she or he has no idea about what is going through the mind of a person experiencing ambiguous grief.
This is from my wife, currently 26 weeks pregnant with our second child who will not live outside the womb:
You don’t know that the answer to your question is bad news and will change this conversation drastically.  How do I answer succinctly, leave room for you to comprehend what I’ve just said and express your own feelings at that news, and then attempt to move the conversation on before you say something unhelpful?
Pregnant is the pause whilst the weight of the moment is assimilated.  It still won’t digest.  It’s awkward for both ladies.  There it is; the truth is too hard to bear; this truth is too sensitive to lay bare.  Yet, something must be communicated.  It has to be a response full of grace, but that requires effort and energy when we are especially vulnerable.
Those awkward moments when we put our feet into our mouths are difficult to reconcile.  Grace is required.  Grace and sensitivity, where there has been an absence of grace and sensitivity.  We all make mistakes.  We all require grace from time to time.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.