Over at the Innermost House blog just now, a conversation about fear of destitution is developing.
Mulling this over while eating breakfast, a forgotten conversation returned to my mind that made me first smile then laugh.
It happened at the time our lives were falling apart. I had a friend who was facing serious difficulties in her own life, and I suspected her situation would be making her feel frightened and lonely. In trouble, nothing is more welcome than a fellow-traveller. Knowing this, I shared with her the story of my own circumstances, which were dire.
None of my social interactions in life so far had prepared me for her reaction. My friend is an Ashanti woman, passionate, deep-feeling. She heard my tale with close attention, listening rigidly, then flung herself on the floor and began beating it with her fist, moaning “Jesus...Jesus...Jesus... !!!”
Gosh, I thought; finally here’s somebody who appreciates exactly how I feel! I have to say no one else in Bromley reacted quite like that.
Anyway, after a bit she got up and sat back on her sofa. She fixed me intently with her piercing gaze, and said slowly and emphatically (can you do an Ashanti accent? I underlined where the foot fell in her words):
“My mother said to me – ‘If you rely on a man for your meal ticket, you and your children will go hungry!”
This was kinda memorable.
On Innermost House the name of Peace Pilgrim has been mentioned in the comments, as an example of someone who walked without fear, in vulnerability and with no possessions, as Jesus did.
Yes, she did. I know that, and this inspires me and give me hope. Peace Pilgrim is a guiding star. If you don't know who she is you can check her out in the side-bar here, in the section of links to people who live without money.
But I also have more than one friend who liked to live free as a bird, spent their inheritance when they had it, and faced old age in a rented home with a dwindling income and no plan B.
Simplicity is the way to go, and God provides with blessings and miracles in abundance. Life is sweet. But friends, do what you can to watch your back.
I'm, away from keyboard for a few days now, so my apologies and don't panic if your comments remain in purdah until Tuesday.
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)
This was a beautiful, snuggly cloak made of micro-fleece, therefore light as a feather as well as ultra-groovy and warm. It had a long pointy hood and a celtic-y clasp and was altogether beautiful. However, though I accept that my get-up in general terms bears a strong resemblance to a mediaeval peasant crossed with a Hutterite, I find that the practical reality is that I need my arms free, even on a cold day, as there are things to carry and work to be done. Life is hard enough without adding to the struggle by wrapping it in swathes of fabric.
What time is it? Who cares? Well - I do have to catch a bus occasionally, but my cellphone has an alarm clock.