Posts tagged ‘Bad news’

February 7, 2011

Why the long face?

Horse #1

I came across these two characters at an ‘Equine Centre’ not too far from here – they were more than happy to pose for a portrait! The first horse insisted that I take his ‘best side’ and the second, well he just thought that he would put his ears back and see if he could eat my camera!

Why the long face?

Looking at these pictures reminded me of that awful ‘joke’, you know the one:

A horse walks into a bar and the barman says, ‘Hey, why the long face?’

I know, I know, lets move on. Here’s a really big tangent. Ready?

Okay, well the whole ‘long face’ thing got me thinking about sadness, and why so many many people are sad and why so many suffer from depression. This came into my head yesterday during church as we were reading the Psalm, (number 112). Here’s a couple of verses from it (1 & 7):

Blessed are those who fear the LORD,
who find great delight in his commands.

They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

When I read those words yesterday, they took me back a while, nearly twenty years, to a church my better half and I used to attend before moving to Ireland. The church treasurer was a remarkable man, from Germany. During the second world war he had been a pilot in the Luftwaffe and he had been on a mission and was shot down. He survived the crash and made his way to the nearest barn to hide and to sleep out the rest of the night. He was of course afraid of being captured but he hadn’t reckoned on the Farmer’s daughter. They fell in love and fifty years later they were still inseparable. He still had quite a strong accent and whenever he was around I could always hear John Cleese in the back of my head saying “don’t mention the war.

Anyway, one day he said he had a verse of the Bible for me to remember. My initial excitement evaporated when he read out those two verses that are quoted above, all I could think about was ‘bad news’.

I can’t tell you the number of times those verses have been a source of encouragement and strength to me over the years since then. Whenever there is bad news those words are the first thing that comes into my mind, and what peace they bring.

For me those words have a strength that is beyond myself, indeed of God. I hope they will be a great help for you also, but may your bad news be a very long way off yet…

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March 11, 2009

Bleak Outlook?

Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, -0.33 EV, ISO 200, 46mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

The news at the moment just seems so grim. The murders in Northern Ireland threatening to reignite cross-community tensions, the terrible attack on two young couples last night in Drogheda, ten shot dead in a school in Germany, another ten in Alabama. This goes alongside daily news of appalling bombings and shootings in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan that occur with such frequency that we find ourselves suffering from “compassion fatigue”.

Then of course we have the ‘mini budget’ to look forward to on April 7th. I don’t think that there’s going to be anything ‘mini’ about it at all – Raking €5 Billion (or whatever the ridiculous amount is), off the tax payers seems more like a ‘colossal budget’ to me.

Sad too is the treatment of the Cork County Hurling manager, Gerald McCarthy, having to resign his position because of death threats. At least the Champions league results brought some cheer for Liverpool and Chelsea Supporters.

What brings the most cheer for me though is knowing that despite all the bad news, despite all the tragedy and horror we have a God who understands what it is like to suffer, to die, to be rejected and hated and through all of that showed that love, sacrificial love, is the most powerful and potent and precious thing in all the world…

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:3,4 NLT)