Stand. In. Awe.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all though the house no was stirring not even a bl-

Wrong. This blogger is stirring.


You know there’s those pots in like France or wherever that have been on the fire for years? I don’t mean it feels like years – they have literally been on the go for years. It’s an ancient practice of keeping the fire going – adding to the pot and serving from it when there is need.

The stew never goes cold.

There’s always enough stew.

It’s very bizarre. It goes against our position, paradigm, prism. How do you begin to cope with that? When’s dinner ready?

Like now.

When do we have to start cooking?

Like now.

When will it run out?

Didn’t you hear me? I said it was time to get cooking!

So when I say I am stirring – and get this straight, it’s the night before Christmas and I’m stirring – this is the kind of saucepan I’m thinking of. It’s not on a little hob here – I am not on the front burner let alone the back burner but a much bigger burner all together that’s been burning a long time. I didn’t light the fire, pick the recipe or choose the cutlery. It’s not my cauldron but I’m stirring. Because, damn it, it behooves me to stir.

As it behooves us all. Because as we stir we start to notice there is enough, there’s plenty if we keep chipping in. Someone who has been stirring up a bit recently is the former Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns who is now one of the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisors. He has said, “Westminster policies are judging the poor rather than helping them and driving people into greater despair.” (Read in December 22nd’s The National)

It’s time to get stirring.

And stirred as I was by Burns’ comments, what really got to me came next.

Burns referred to the words of an American clergyman from South
Los Angeles who had been invited over by the Violence Reduction Unit to offer advice on transforming communities. It’s these words I stir one again in the big saucepan that keeps bubbling away while people still watch the fire. There are stirring words alright.

Have a dearly wonderful Christmas and I leave you with these words from Gregory Boyle.

We should stand in awe at the burdens the poor have to carry rather than standing in judgement at the way they carry them.


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