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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Vision For The New Year

What better resolution could there be entering a New Year than simply to have a better, more thankful, year than the one just gone?

Whether it’s a health goal or better financial security or the peace of spiritual success (or anything else), we all desire to have life better than we’ve had it. Yet, it doesn’t always work that way. This is why many people have trepidations about the concept of ‘beginning over’.

Some people choose not to begin over; they’re resistant to the whole concept of New Year as a fresh beginning. It doesn’t matter how people think. Everyone wants a happy life (however people individually define it).

The New Year’s Resolution for those who don’t make them is a special one; it clinches the field as far as goal-setting goes, simply because it defeats the need to even set a goal. This Resolution is about choosing a vision for life. This is a broad direction to head in. It’s a consuming focus.

Sample Visions

Here’s how a personal vision might look:

C Rather than pick something to ‘give up,’ or ‘take up’ something new, I want to live smart one moment at a time. For me, that is to ... ... ...

C What makes me happiest is ... ... ... so I’m going to do more of that from now on, because I can.

C You know, I’m sick of having regrets about family, so I’m just going to be more gracious and more forgiving, and a little more generous with my time.

C I can’t wait until I look into the mirror and like – no, love – what I see! If I want something bad enough I can achieve it. Whatever happens I’m accepting who I am.

C I see people all around me getting degrees and diplomas. I see that for myself within five years. One day I’ll be doing ... ... ... and helping people. That’s my dream life.

C Volunteering is something I’ve been promising myself for years. I’m going to start actively exploring it. A few years from now I’ll look back and thank God because of the people I’ve met and worked with, and the things I’ve done.

C From now on I’m backing off on the workload I’ve been under. I’m stressing less from now on.

C Time to add yours ________ here!

Overall Benefits

It’s important that your vision is written in your words that have special meaning for you. This sort of idea trumps those with detailed and specific ideas on what to do or not do. That’s because a vision for something different is worlds bigger than the detail found in the typical New Year’s Resolution.

The idea here has been to think bigger on an overall life perspective. And perhaps the most significant benefit is we don’t limit ourselves to one year or to one failure. Neither does one year nor one failure define us.

Vision is about the whole of our lives, and so what if we fail here and there. It’s how we get back up that counts most. It’s what we achieve over our lifetime that makes the difference in the final analysis.

The hare might be to the New Year’s Resolution what the tortoise is to the vision; sure, soon we’ll have to take the plunge, but the New Year is not just about another year, it’s about the next step toward the rest of our lives.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Journeying Beyond Betrayal

Common to relationships and love is the portion of cursing in the matters of betrayal. We are not the only ones to have been betrayed! Indeed, it won’t be the last time it will occur, so let’s expect it when we least possibly expect it (if that’s possible).

The test of any relationship’s strength is how it wrangles with and survives conflict—the key question is, can it survive and possibly even thrive because of it?

The truth is so many relationships have!

The betrayal that polarised minds and tore intimacy apart was the very thing that proved the catalyst of commitment—to try to live apart or to have life this different way proved the worth of the relationship; that very conflict, when it was fairly and justly sorted, thrust before both the meaning in the relationship, even in the harsh light of day.

It Takes Two To Tango

Just as it was likely that two caused the initial ruction, and if not directly then indirectly, so too do two create the bridge that broaches the chasm.

All that is required for love to ensue is the faith-held promise, one to another, to a form that will prove as a two-pack epoxy in the sight of God, the Primer. Two it is that make a sticky mix that promises to harden beautifully into product, and it takes two to make the dance and song of life together come along. Few would argue, and sensibly so.

Commitment is the byword of hope for all relationships; and whilst it’s sometimes true that it takes two to break a relationship, it’s always true it takes two to make a relationship.

Betrayal Is No End In Itself

If we were to contend that the sin of betrayal were an end beyond fresh beginnings then we’d be telling God he got it wrong in the design, bringing, and begetting of salvation—that’s a Trinitarian blasphemy aimed at defrauding the Lord all ownership of redemption.

No, those that own the lay of the reconciliatory land are those that happen to be the protagonists—and no other. There is life after betrayal if they wish it so.

With all the emotive will and skill known to each one, they consider the merits of their unique situations and stake claims of life or peril, and all between.

Then There Is Trust

When all is said and done we come to the central caveat of trust—for the initial perpetrator; or the next one, or situation, arriving at our shores.

Trust is to the low tide of the relational coastline in terms of betrayal. Whenever the tide is out and betrayal goes up and trust goes down surely we must know that joy is, for a time, extinguished.

Our joy we can have back, and peace, when we do our internal work of bringing the tide in, by learning to trust again; perhaps neither the person nor the situation, maybe, but we learn what we can and resolve to trust again.

Journeying beyond betrayal is just that: learning what we can and learning to trust again. And in these things we’re healed.


There is a beautiful land well beyond the troubled shores of betrayal. This land is home to peace and joy and it embraces love, because it can trust; that is because it has done its internal work with God. Many relationships have great hope beyond betrayal but both partners need to be equally committed.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hate Talk Makes People Walk

To love as God would in the world is the great privilege of the class of humanity, yet a trillion shimmering stars of indifference separate you and I because of our ever unique value-sets. Let’s face it, we will not agree. But we can still respect each other.

One thing many Christians still do not get is hate talk makes people walk.

A salient, ever topical, subject is that of homosexuality: the sexuality and spirituality of being gay. Few subjects will divide and conquer the purposes for fellowship or evangelism than this one. Everyone, it seems, has a strong view either way, or an equally strong view straight down the midline. Any view is quickly polarised and rendered loveless.

I have to admit I struggle to accept homosexuality; I see this as God’s challenge to me, though, to grow in tolerance toward those in same-sex relationships. It’s not their issue (apart from their personal relationship with the Lord) as far as God is concerned; it’s mine. Each of us, ultimately, is accountable to God alone. That I could be offended in any way is God saying to me, “Let me help you sort you out, Steve.” God is no respecter of persons because they are this or that. The Lord’s love is equal for all.

But that separated, we come back to the core issue: hate talk.

The Casting Division Of Hate Talk

We need to understand that hate talk, in this frame, is not essentially about talk that intentionally offends a person or persons (though it is that, too); no, it’s talk that expresses our hatred for something, however ‘immoral’ or personally distasteful, without thinking about how our mode and mood of expression might impact others—particularly those who may attach themselves centrally to the issues we’re ‘attacking’.

And it can be hard to know who stands on what side. That’s the thing with hate talk; it loses context with the present tense and it harbours a grudge for the deeper value betrayed. It sinks into a bygone era, or at least it loses time and touch for love.

When we come together in bonds of friendship and commonality, yet we spiral back into ourselves and the hidden tentacles of our inner fears, even for an instant, we betray another person, perhaps, in spite of the vast numbers applauding what we are saying or doing.

Haters may have their support, but still the silent majority will walk. Haters soon lose credibility for love. And if the hater calls themselves Christian that, there, is a cosmic dichotomy! It’s more Pharisaic and not Jesus-like at all.


We’re all potentially perpetrators of hate talk, because it’s the way we think, especially when we consider the world dark, grey, and formidable.

But we can be better than hate if we can understand our fears run cross-grain to the hope of community—the fellowship of love where individual desires and fears must give way to the tolerance of embraced diversity where we let God be God; yes, even a respectful silence, or the love-guarded word, when the world is going pear-shaped.

It’s a trick for young spiritual players to meddle idealistically in the world of current affairs and ethics in showing the cards in their hand of the flesh, veiled in the words of the Bible.

This is not to say there is to be abject tolerance of overt sin—which presumably has a relational malevolence about it. But we are all sinners and we must understand that hatred of sin to the point of judgment generally turns back toward hatred of the sinner, if we haven’t mastered the offence felt within ourselves, first. Recall the ‘plank and speck’ story of Jesus’? (Matthew 7:1-5)


Hate talk comes centrally from a section of indifference from within the hater. The hate turns back on the hater and their world shrivels and their relationships suffer; even of those they love. Hate talk is diametrically opposed to being Christian. If we’re Christian we’re not to hate; not ever.

Are non-believers to be turned off Christ before they’ve even sensed a whiff of salvation, because they hear hate from so-called believers? I should never be.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Secrets Never Told

People’s reactions are often opposite to what they’re actually feeling. We know this by our experience, perhaps where we pretended to be pleased in a certain situation, but within we were quietly seething. This is obvious to some; less obvious to others.

Some relationships we have feature inherent conflict—for no want of rhyme nor reason we know those we don’t get along with, but we have little idea—in most realities—why. We cannot climb inside their brains or feel with their hearts, and few human beings we develop enough intimacy with to truly understand.

The saying that ‘secrets are never told’ may be self-evident, but it has more bearing on our relationships than we ordinarily account for.

Appreciating What We Don’t Know

What might appear absurd is, without doubt, our challenge. We need to somehow appreciate what we don’t know, and will never know. Such an appreciation is the gift of an ever-opened mind.

Such an appreciation is also the constant cognitive clarification that ensures fewer assumptions are made, meaning less relational damage takes place.

Knowing that there are secrets about, that trust within certain relationships will be scant, helps us understand other people; it doesn’t hinder our relationships, because we understand the barriers to communication are common to human experience and can be explained person-to-person.

Appreciating what we don’t know is also appreciating we don’t need to know everything; indeed, we are saved from much senseless knowledge and many vexing pieces of information which would make life so horribly complex.

Trying Our Best To Expose Our Own Secrets In Safety

What may be the case in ordinary lives around us—the keeping of secrets by others regarding their real perceptions within our interactions—is no excuse for us, however.

It is a blessed situation for us to accept the fact that others carry their secrets, whilst ensuring we have trustworthy sounding boards to share our secrets with. This is an effective way of dealing with our problems and junk.

It is blessed because it features both acceptance for things we cannot change (regarding others) and courage to change the things we can (regarding ourselves). Only through doing both things, practicing acceptance and courage, can we grow in wisdom as far as our relationships are concerned.


Many secrets of life we cannot change, and we are blessed to accept they exist. Not assuming that the appearance of our relationships means much, we enter into relations with a healthy open mind. Others’ secrets we can do nothing about, but accept it’s a universal human practice to cherish personal privacy.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, December 26, 2011

If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?

I often wonder whether male and female responses to relationship breakdown differ much. I tend to think there are more similarities than differences, after all these are the issues of rejection, and the will to move on, we’re dealing with.

On the side of the aggrieved, not the perpetrator of breakups, this sentiment holds such truth:

“Don’t let it happen again,

‘Cause that I couldn’t take,

Once was quite enough,

It’s easy to forgive, harder to forget.”

~Mental As Anything, If You Leave Me Can I Come Too (1981).

One breakup may be quite enough, even more than enough, for most people to bear. But beyond the starkness is a soon-to-be cherished hope; one that cannot yet be seen.

The Betwixt Pain of Separation

It may be very apt to compare the loss of a relationship with the loss of a loved one, but for many perceivable differences, not the least of which the other party to the relationship is still alive (for better or worse), but there are issues of rejection to deal with, not to mention we can no longer have what we want—them!—when another person can; and hurt, potentially, tears us apart from within.

Perhaps it’s best not to compare losses, for losses are unique in their manifestation and by our experience of them. But, then, we do tend to compare.

How can we truly gain any real grasp of the enormity of issues involved in relationship breakdowns? Even when they occur to us we can neither make head nor tail of the horror of them.

Whether it’s the betrayal that cuts like a knife, the fact nothing we can do can change the situation, or just plain numbness we feel—all that, itself, defies rationality. It can only be experienced in real time, hopefully with copious meaningful support.

Accepting Emotions That Come from Nowhere

The main thing I recall from my experience of marriage breakdown was the fact of emotions I didn’t know existed. I had never suffered before; the idea of loss, even the very thought, was just too bizarre, too horrible, and possibly too painful to consider.

For weeks in the early period I just wanted to sleep; to be anaesthetised from my world of pain. And I couldn’t afford feelings of betrayal—I still held much hope (as was the case for nine whole months) that the marriage could be somehow reconstructed, ‘put back anew’. I vacillated between varying fashions of denial. And my attitude definitely was, If you leave me can I come too?

I couldn’t see a world without my then wife or as a live-in father for my daughters.

These emotions that come from nowhere, or worse, from somewhere too reminiscent, need to be dealt with eventually, but not necessarily in their rawness—when the pain may be too great to safely encompass. But, we are commended for praying for the time and the courage to deal with these irreversible problems.


Relationship breakdown pain hits alarm-bell proportions when we find there’s no coming back; adjustment when there is just no choice is cruel, but ever more real.

Acceptance and adjustment are long roads and we may simply battle to crawl, let alone speed to our destination in a high-powered vehicle.

What we need, right now, in the midst of the pain, is a creative way of dealing with it, during those healthier moments—the brightening hours—before the sun of our soul’s sets once more into oblivion. There is regeneration out of desolation, but only in the midst of harmonising grace.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Becoming a Man of God, Again

Christmases are anticipated with trepidation among many a family for a vast range of reasons. I have to admit to that selfsame trepidation as I plan around my unique family dynamics. Indeed, I am part of my own problem. I get anxious about the broken family dynamic and try my best to cover for it—inevitably, I try too hard.

The effect of trying too hard had a surprising spin-off during my most recent Christmas, when I received the gift of a coffee mug, emblazoned CAUTION: NEXT MOOD SWING IN 5 MINUTES. In the moment I received it I had to laugh; the longer I thought about it, however, the more I felt incensed that this was truly the way my precious family members perceived me.

I may have a part in God’s work, having believed that I have found my call, but what does being perceived as moody and unpredictable emotionally have to do with the Lord’s great commission?

Was I just wasting my (and more poignantly, God’s) time?

The spirit of disconsolation would have me believe that, and besides the fact that family see me warts and all, whereas church and ministry contact is purified in the Presence of God and of common goals, I have to face the truth: I am no better than the next person, and due to my ‘feeling’ personality—which is my only perceptible excuse—I may actually be worse; and certainly worse from an unbeliever’s viewpoint because they may see me as self-righteous. And that, too, is not untruthful—if I appear prideful, even to one, there is more than a shred of evidence to support it.

‘You Can’t Handle the Truth’

I might hate to say it, and whilst I can see, I do hate to say it, but I am so seriously flawed it amazes me that God would even want to use me, besides wanting to show me how far I often am—attitudinally—from his immediate Presence.

The biggest part of the problem is I see more readily others in their pride, with their faults, more naturally than I do my own. I’m probably no different to you; sorry to make such an all-encompassing and dispassionate assumption about you. But my observation of human nature leads me to think that pride is a sweepingly common thing.

But, we digress from my problem.

There are many ways to define humility, and one way may be to see it as the most natural aversion to pride; if that be the case for me I might often pick myself up in my pride, but most of the time I’m not as quick as I would like to be. I can see my fault, apologise, and even institute reparation, but typically the damage might already be done.

The truth hurts.

The truth is I want to be seen as a good person—right, just and fair—yet, that is not typically me. And whilst I am a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ, most of the world does not see me that way. Most of the everyday world I belong to sees me as a normal person, dealing with my stuff, struggling to love, failing often, and yes, with mood swings to boot!

Again, the truth hurts, especially for someone who espouses to be a man of God. I follow Jesus but I make a hash of it a lot of the time. And though Jesus never gives up on me, much of my world does, like you might feel much of your world does, too. It’s hard to live for God when we get it wrong a lot of the time.

If this is your truth, as it is mine, it hurts. (But, as we should know, there is hope only beyond it. There’s no need to be perfect, or even close, when we have a perfect Saviour!)

Many Problems Together Means No Simple Solution

Added to the above problem—about how I am perceived by those who most know me, by the fact they see me at my most vulnerable—is a problem that has plagued my whole life. I struggle, immensely at times, with self-control over sensate stimulation; typically, these days, food.

If I don’t watch myself I overeat, and though I look fit, and am otherwise healthy, this lack of self-control sets me apart as a carnal man; not someone especially spiritual.

Part of my problem is I want to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and food is one way to artificially ameliorate such discomfort. Remember, I can’t handle the truth. Can you relate?

Many times I feel quite perplexed in defining what the actual problems might be. Rather than sit and quietly pray I will choose to do something; typically write. Whether writing is ministry or therapy is beside the point. Many of the things I write about are personal reflections, morphed through theological reflection, as God works through me to heal myself—and that process is nowhere near complete.

I am to make a study of humility, because as the person becoming a man of God again I need to make my offering of worship. That offering of worship is, at least today, to grow in my understanding and application of humility. That is what God, through a small Christmas gift, has impressed upon me. I am thankful for such revelation.


One thing I’ve learned: if you can be better, be better. Not in a self-righteous way, but simply out of prudent self-leadership that’s irrefutably subject to God.

Being people of God is, more so, becoming people of God, again, each day as a continual process—of drawing near to the Presence of the Lord.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is You

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.”

~Song of Solomon 8:6 (NRSV)

The Christmas story—Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, born to Mary in a manger—redeems the essence of love; a concept so powerful it is a mystery that captivates our imagination in such ways that love is never fully realised; it’s not ever truly sated.

If we ever needed Jesus once, we will need him ever more.

Personal Stories of Deliverance

The Christmas story is about love: the Son of God coming as a mortal to convey and commit the Father’s redemption plan for humankind—the plan hatched in the unity of God.

The living God, resplendent in the Holy Spirit, has one request for Christmas (and every other day): All I want for Christmas is you... to redeem you, to love you, to restore you, to make you into all you can become.

Stories of deliverance are personal and they are unfolding, before our consciousness, today—afresh, in new ways, in new times, and never repetitively or tiresomely requited.

When one person has been delivered in such ways they know the strength of love that brings death to the old life. A new creation is born.

Personal Stories of Love’s Passion

Has anything ever captivated us as much as love has?

The love of a partner, or the infatuation that has been spared no human being, for we have all fallen for it, is irrefutable and irreconcilable; and if not a person, it’s a practice, a predilection, or the predestined will.

It’s easy for the many to relate: All I want for Christmas is you... to have you, to love you, to comfort and be comforted by you, to be adored by you.

Love’s passion, as so powerfully encapsulated in the Song of Solomon quote above, is too hot to handle. It makes and breaks our lives.

Then There Was the True Significance of Christmas

It is unfortunate that the world is sown a lie: that Christmas is about Santa Claus, reindeer, and gifts given all over the world over one single night.

I suspect, though, given the nature of Divinity, that the Lord is personally unperturbed by this pagan ritual veiled in peace and goodwill toward all humanity, whilst knowing, however, that such lies take humanity away from the truth: that the gift of salvation was given over the whole world during one single event, not at the birth of Jesus, but, at his death.

Still, peace and goodwill could never be a lie—it’s perfectly appropriate, then, that the tradition of Christmas is entirely virtuous. It’s a beautiful time to look forward to and to enjoy.

The true significance of Christmas is, however, the foretelling of Jesus story: the gift of salvation in redemption back to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. Such a love as that is “a raging flame”: the one and only living God and divine love for all creation.

Such a love can never give up on us: that’s the real Christmas story.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Watching for Pain at Times of Joy

We’re apt to look for enjoyment, especially at festive times, but those selfsame festive times exacerbate the ever-present struggles of life. When we look deep into ourselves we cannot ignore this pain; the pain in others’ lives if it doesn’t impinge on us more directly.

With an eye and an ear we do so much of God’s sleuth work, determining the real sources of misery and injustice as they combine to make life difficult.

The Goal of Helping One Person

The desire to help is understandable, but because of all sorts of fear or lack of opportunity to practice what we otherwise think or believe we may not often do it.

But if we know that there is pain always at the point of joy, just as there may be relief in the presence of mourning, and we are looking, we will be positioned when the opportunity comes (and it will come, eventually) and all we need to do is overcome the situational fear to do one bold thing in love.

It might sound corny, but helping one person, even with an innocuous act of listening to their heart cry, helps them in a sublime way and it helps us connect with the heart of God.

God’s heart is always with the poor the spirit, especially at high times.

Personal Benefits

The blessing, felt personally, at the discernment of other people’s problems is we feel principally grateful for the pain we don’t have—the pain we see in them. This gratitude has an outworking in thoughts, at least, of a usable empathy.

We can only ever come close to knowing more about God, in our world, when we place ourselves in positions the serve.

Just as Jesus came not to be served, but to serve—as a model for us to follow—we are blessed by knowledge, the anointing of love, when we give ourselves over as that vessel toward God’s end in another one’s life.

The personal benefit is a spiritual one; the knowledge of God as the Spirit works in the world. These personal benefits take us on our journey toward the prized possession of characterised humility: the knowledge of truth as our lives sit within the context of life and other people’s lives.

There are personal benefits for the person helped, also. We cannot truly know these, if we’re of true help, but we can know in faith that we’re doing a service for God, and that, there, is the privilege of life.


How much more beautiful would our world be if, at joyous times, each person in their merriment kept even a portion of their mind free, to look, toward service, for the one in pain?

There will always be opportunities to help those in pain; a pain made no better at joyous times, indeed, it may truly be made worse.

God knows this, also, which is something we often forget: in each person’s joy is the silent echo, a reminder, of their pain; however muffled at that time it may be. Each person may be helped.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seek Simplicity

The cooling waft on warm skin on a summer’s evening reminds us of the Presence of God—the simplicity of solution in the midst of a problem; the stickiness of the ambient humidity.

“... the truth will make you free.”

~John 8:32b (NRSV)

God’s Presence is just as pertinent on a still night with no breeze; it’s just that we might commonly seek our own indirect-and-inferior solutions, instead. The simple solution evades.

When we seek simplicity, or agree with it, we tend to attract the goodness of life, unadulterated by human processing: the cheapening of the living accord.

From the Mountains to the Valleys

All through life there is an undercurrent known to humankind, but such a cosmos as humanity has commonly gone the opposite way—they preferred darkness (John 3:19).

This galloping into darkness negates the facts of creation and the laws of the universe, indeed the very fact of God, and it suffers in frustration as a consequence.

The most pervasive thing known to existence is the law of the land that compels us to be blessed in simplicity, yet cursed in our preponderance to choose, instead, for complexity.

And even when we don’t choose for complexity we must deal with it. Life is complex. But it is made less complex, gradually, as we begin to follow the direct path of God. This Spiritual way sees us right whether by mountains or valleys—and all situations between.

Personal Benefits in Seeking Simplicity

The personal benefits in seeking simplicity are as numerous as can never be counted, and the processes of faith accorded to our understanding mean that counting is beyond reasonable sense.

We must simply believe that to seek simplicity is to seek for blessing.

Surely the accursed have known it long enough to want to turn from it—the wide life that leads to nowhere; a life pungent with no sense of life at all, just memories of regret and want of light in escaping the pitch darkness.

Ironically, these are the ones that appreciate the blessedness of seeking for simplicity; they have run the gauntlet and proven the way of God for their very selves.


To run hard after God, to enter life’s narrow way, is nothing but a choice—to go, today, upon the direct path where the Lord might lead us; one light at a time, to the better, more simple way.

When we seek simplicity we run our lives in tune to the Symphony of God.

Such a Symphony is not hard to hear, but we need to listen with simple, focused intent.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Being the Respectful Lover

Many men find it difficult, and for a few almost impossible, to rein in their desires regarding their lovemaking with their wives. Likewise, women may occasionally find respectfulness the missing link in their relationships—despite how otherwise well-behaved their husbands might be.

It may be a sad reality that a man’s intimacy may grow to the detriment of his respectfulness for his wife. We are speaking, of course, in generalisations. This will not apply to all men and women, or in all marriages.

Harnessing Respectfulness

It is critically important for a woman to feel respected; that her man finds her attractive and interesting to the point that she receives nothing less than his full courtesy, because that is what she deserves—his fullest portion of love in ways that hold relevance to her.

It is just as necessary for a man to feel respected within the relationship. Indeed, several noted writers have detailed significant works on the man’s need to be respected and the woman’s need to be loved.

But respectfulness, one given to another, is a right and privilege of, and for, both.

Harnessing such respectfulness is enquiring, and perhaps often, regarding how it is for our partners. This needn’t be done in any aggressive or submissive sense; just in a way that promotes the wellbeing of our partner.

Shifting the Emphasis

Being a respectful lover of our wife or husband is really determined by them, not us; if we consider them to be fair judges of respectfulness; and we ought to. There is nothing to be gained in thinking they are not. There is, though, much to be gained in converting any intelligence they will give us into learning so our respectfulness can be increased or made more meaningful.

This is about shifting the emphasis; understanding what the core issue or issues are, in behavioural speak, and constructing plans to oversee the changes we seek (because we, alone, must accept ownership for any changes we feel we need to make).

Shifting the emphasis is about understanding the presence of any barrier to respectfulness, as it is knowing the terms on which our partners determine what is respectful and what isn’t. Once we know these things we can set about addressing them; and we need to.


Being a respectful lover is the unwritten both-ways covenant invoked, silently, by the other partner. Both owe it to each other, but more so they owe it to themselves, for being a respectful lover is being self-respectful.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Cherishing Every Eternal Being

Far removed from the glamour and compunction of clinging humanity is the spectre of God as it surrounds all creation; yes, from this view we see all things differently.

People who seek to set their agendas are scared little ones or deceived by their own grandeur; those happy-go-lucky ones are simply making sense of an oft-nonsensical world through the processes of acceptance.

We hardly think of other people, or ourselves for that matter, as being from, or of, eternity; but from God we came, and to God we will soon go.

In the meantime, God has sought to bring us together in a realm of physicality—a sense so material, but, due our awkwardness, always somewhat at odds with our truer, irrevocable sensibility. For this reason we must sympathise with our fellow men and women. Nobody has life all sorted out.

Refocusing For Empathy

Such is our grounded nature, in and of the world, we cannot see people or life as they truly are—or, not for long. We lose focus.

We must refocus, reimagining as if we were the Spirit that actually engineers and fuels life.

This truth is due our utmost concern: each being is divine; a spirit within them begotten by God Almighty in the heavens. (This language may read loftily, but when we consider the significance of such things, awe is the only reconcilable emotion.)

But, nevertheless, it is compelling that we live and breathe together in a cacophony of spiritual physicality; every growing moment is a surreal manifestation—a gift from the Most High. And all of this is less than nothing without humanity—all creation, as it is, confirms and applauds the Presence of the Creator.

How could we exist here, in the locale of time, and not know and feel this?

What good is refusal; the will to deny?

Why should love be condemned when it’s the only logical explanation?

Upon Conviction To Love

If there is anything good to be convicted of, surely, it’s love—the spending of one’s life toward the best attempt possible to live for others. For by reciprocation this way is best for us, too. Yes, a love given is so often returned.

The conviction to love is a blessed possession—one we take no credit for—for the majesty of divine reason is made fully known by our faith, though we cannot explain it. The conviction to love is just simply blessed.


Love it is that showers upon a person the understanding that senses the vestige of eternity in another. And when eternity is seen in them it makes all the difference—loving them is made easier, for they are from God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.