Shirley"s Pen

 ‘Sister Shirley, bring warm clothes and long boots, it is cold in Romania’  read Dora’s text.

‘It is cold in Romania’.   How those words burned into my heart.  I thought of the emptiness, the sadness, the finality of separation surrounding those I love.  The water of ‘time’ is flowing fast and the waters continue to rise.  I sense the need to return home.  There is a longing in my heart to ‘spend a morning’; ‘share an evening’; offer a few moments of my time to listen, trying to understand the road of towering mountains, unanswered questions many walk just now.

Distance, change of climate, unfamiliar surroundings, my favourite chair,  yet I do not feel a stranger, I have One who walks beside me, who knows my heart and whose promises are my ‘silent companion’.   This ‘abiding place’  is home to me.  An abiding peace, an abiding faith, fills my heart as I remember that ‘here we have no abiding place’. We are on a journey with the One who never changes and who will abide with us wherever we are.  Home is a place of security, filled with the love of a father, mother, husband, wife, the joy of brothers, sisters, yet as I plan my visits,  I realise there will be an empty chair, a silence in a room once filled with joy.  ‘Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changes  not, abide with me’.  The freshness of those words whisper ‘no need to fear’ because I know that wherever I am I must be ‘ALL’  there (Jim Elliot).  ‘In my father’s house are many mansions’, a ‘Home’ a place of dwelling,  prepared and waiting – Eternity! Read more


Shirley"s Pen

How can we grasp the true definition of ‘Ultimate Loneliness’ unless our hearts have been captured by the graphic picture of intense pain, suffering, extreme poverty, abandonment, unloved, lost souls. The dangerous reefs of life have caused shipwreck in many lives whose only hope is to be found in God.

I ask myself ‘What is the value of my relationship, my first love; do I want to snatch such from the wild waves of life’s restless sea?’ Can I be a bridge builder? Offering a bridge of hope ‘For God so loved the world that He gave ……….’ My words must be washed in His love; the Word of God must be relevant to individual searching souls.

If someone had told me I would have encountered such a pool of despair … but one thing I have learned through ministering in this role of Tell Romania is that I must not question or become disillusioned. Although this week in particular I could have found myself like the prophet Elijah saying ‘Lord, I have had enough’. The pain was real as I visited the lost and dying, terminally ill, climbing many stairs where I found a mother nursing her daughter (48) caring for her granddaughter and great grandchildren. Another humble home once joyful now silenced by pain, yet a smile of memory filled her face as she clutched a photograph of her husband, then displayed her cross stitch work which I must confess is amazing.   ‘Daria, why so much pain?’ We both were silent!

Lord, I want to feel Thy love, caress these hearts of pain. Melt my heart, help me pierce the gloom. I find myself repeating the prayer of Jabez ‘oh that you would bless me…’

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