My Bouncing – Bumbling Spectrum

Usually, I live somewhere on a spectrum that goes from ‘bouncing’ at one end to ‘bumbling’ at the other end. When I was younger and more energetic I probably spent more time towards the bouncing end… now I tend more towards bumbling…

Yesterday the folk around me seemed to have huge insurmountable problems… ongoing physical and mental health issues… insoluble financial problems… families and relationships that are fragile to breaking point… challenges, anxieties and fears beyond the available human and spiritual resources…

I’m certainly not bouncing; I’m scarcely bumbling.

Yesterday’s news headlines were dominated by last year’s immigration figures. Despite the promises of successive governments to reduce immigration, the figure’s higher than ever before.

Some talk about people trafficking and illegal immigrants… a drain on British resources. Others point to vital work done enabling Ukrainians to resettle in the UK… providing help and support for children and families in need…

Do we get to the point where we say ‘Enough is enough?’ Do we continue to be compassionate and generous? Many have compelling, clever answers about what should be done; I don’t.

I drop off my bouncing-bumbling spectrum.

I look out on our garden. ‘Woody’, the woodpecker, a regular garden visitor, is on our apple tree… the grass still needs cutting… the crazy squirrels still refuse to realise that ‘bird-feeders’ are for birds… wisteria, clematis, rhododendrons look good…

I recall Jesus’ wise words about God providing for the birds of the air and the flowers in the field… they’re not fearful or anxious… God is generous in providing all they need. Jesus’ conclusion? ‘Don’t worry!’

My friends problems aren’t solved, I don’t have greater wisdom about immigration, but they’re put in perspective. I climb back onto the bumbling end of my spectrum.

I get the mower out and start to cut the grass. Recalling more of Jesus’s wise words: ‘Freely have you received so freely give,’ I resolve again to pursue compassion and generosity… and move from bumbling towards bouncing!

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