The Trespasser

It was dark with only the stars and a faint moon peeping from behind the clouds. The boy stepped carefully over the dim object in front of him and on towards the door. The old shed was dilapidated with a big hole in the roof and broken glass scattered around it from an old window that had long since been smashed and boarded up again but the rumours of what lay inside had captured his heart and he just had to find out if they were true.

The air seemed heavy with an eerie silence and the boy looked back towards the house to check that the lights were still off. He saw no movement and strained to hear anything that might mean he’d been rumbled. Turning back towards the shed he stepped forward but just then a dog barked and the boy’s heart leaped in his chest. As he began to run he tripped falling headlong. He put his hands out in front but kept falling down, down, down thenhe landed with a thud knocking wind out of him and gasped. Suddenly a sharp pain seared through his left hand and he let out a cry.  

Light shone from above him somewhere and he heard a voice.

“Sean, are you ok.”

What does it mean to trespass?

A trespasser  passes over, or passes across, coming from Old French and Medieval Latin transpassare meaning to pass beyond.

The word  trespasser normally conjures an image of someone entering someone’s land or property without permission like the boy in the passage above. It can also bring thoughts of the consequences of such action or the anger or rage of being the victim of trespass.

I was thinking of the Lord’s prayer and what trespassing against someone could mean.The word trespass varies in bible translations where it is often replaced with the word sin. So how do we trespass or sin against another?

If you think about the meaning of trespasser of passing over or passing across or beyond then you have to think of some sort of object or limit or boundary that can be passed over, across or beyond. So in the case of the Lord’s prayer what can this mean when we trespass against someone?

The dictionary says a boundary is a line marking the limits of an area and a bounder is a dishonourable man.

So lets take it from there and look at what relationship with one another looks like and what it would look like from the Bible’s perspective, or my perception of it anyway.

The dictionary defines it as the way in which two or more people or things are connected or relate to each other, the state of being connected, the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave towards each other, and emotional and sexual association between two people.between two people. So what does the bible say about it?

In the words of Jesus we need to be like little children, trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving. So how can we know what our boundaries are meant to be as human beings and how can we know when we’ve crossed over someone’s boundaries or when they have crossed over ours.  Is it easy to recognise these things when they happen?

In the passage above the trespass, or crossing over is obvious, this boundary was about crossing over the boundary of someones property without permission. What about when it’s not so obvious? What about when someone gets angry with you and shouts or calls you names. What about if they treat you unfairly, leave you out or punish you for something you haven’t done?

What about when people form intimate relationships and then one abandons,rejects or abuse the other? Have boundaries been crossed that shouldn’t have been and caused hurt and harm? Is this what is meant by forgiving others their trespasses against you and asking forgiveness for your own? What is forgiveness anyway, what does it mean?

The dictionary defines to forgive as  to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw  or  mistake.

The words of Jesus in the bible tell us to forgive.  Can we forgive trespass? Have we trespassed? Should we forgive and why forgive?




Writing! What is it? Is it better to speak it than write it?

Is it an expression to get what’s on the inside out of us? Is it an expression of the soul and it’s ability and desire to create? Can we express more through writing than through speaking?

I have heard it said that its great therapy and can help us to reflect on life and what we’ve learned. Is this true?

Is it a way of making sense of things we do know and what we don’t know. Is  it the exploration of who we are and why we are here? Could it be a way of problem solving or inventing?  In its own way does it makes life more real or make more sense? Is it the expression of recall and memory?

Is it truthful?  How often do you find yourself writing something you remember and by the next day or even an hour later remember it differently to your initial memory. Does your memory play tricks on you or get you in trouble?

Do others remember things differently to you even though they were there with you at the time?

So what is writing and does it help us in any way to write things down and if it does, how? Is there a difference between typing and writing? Do they affect our thoughts and persona in different ways?

These are questions we all ask at some point, especially if we have grown up in the age of technology and resist paper and pen in favour of a keyboard or pad. Does it make a difference to you personally? Do you think using a keyboard is more helpful than pen and paper?

What is writing to you personally?


Stuck in a rut? Do something brave!

I heard it said this morning on TV, ” If you find yourself stuck in a rut, do something brave for God or, stay in your rut!

This picture is of one of my grandsons who just loves taking risks. He often injures himself but, he gets back up and goes again. Are you like that? Do you take risks? Do you get back up when you’ve injured yourself?

I can’t say my grandson does it for God as he’s told me he doesn’t believe, however that’s another story. What I can say is he likes to challenge himself. I think he gets it from his mother and we’re very proud of him although our hearts are often in our mouths when he does these things.

When I was a child, I was very shy and frightened of making mistakes. My mother thought it was good for me to join things even if I didn’t want to.

At three years old I went to dance school to learn ballet. I was terrified of the teacher, I was terrified of the other children, I was terrified of doing it wrong and being in trouble. I dreaded it every week. I tried to stay at the back of the class. I often felt picked on by the teacher who seemed huge, very old and her name was Miss Gould. Whenever she corrected me I wished I could disappear.

Several years later when my younger sister took classes too the dance school put on shows. We  had to wear strange costumes often with huge oversized knickers that mum had to alter. At one particular show in front of parents I had to dance an Irish Jig solo. I knew the dance but had a bad case of stage fright. My way of calming myself was to sit quietly and not talk to anyone, it wasn’t working this time.

I told mum I had a stomach ache (total lie), I really didn’t want to go out there in front of all those people. Mum and the teacher pulled me out of the next dance. Guess what? It wasn’t my solo.

You will be pleased to know I did it and got a great round of applause. I was so pleased with myself!

I loved singing as a child. I grew up hearing mum singing to the old wireless ( radio) as it was called. She had a little notebook she had written all the words down to the latest songs in. She would sing while she pottered around in the kitchen. I joined the choir in the infants school and I loved singing coming home and singing the songs to mum and dad. I remember one horrible one about blood on the saddle and a cowboy who got his head mashed. I really enjoyed singing that one because it seemed so disgusting and almost rebellious.

My Nan too used to play the piano by ear, she couldn’t read music and she would sing old music hall songs. She had a mildly operatic voice. I played piano,  one finger nursery rhymes. I even got my own piano from mum and dad.

In the first year of secondary school mum and dad decided they would pay for me to have private singing lessons, in the lunch hour, with Mrs Freer our music teacher. She was a big, dark-haired lady with an operatic voice. A bunch of my friends came and watched through the glass doors as I sang scales along with the piano. They pulled faces and laughed mockingly. I only ever went to one lesson.

As a teenager I would write down words to the latest songs and record myself singing on an old tape recorder. I sounded terrible to me but it didn’t stop me.

I sang  once at my friend’s wedding. Someone turned off the microphone. I was a bit drunk! However, I came away believing  I couldn’t sing.

When I became a Christian much later in life the desire to sing was still with me so I joined a worship team in the church. They seemed quite happy with my singing and I gained confidence. After having been a Christian for fourteen years and a few churches later I have sung in three worship teams and each time my confidence has grown.

I don’t sing in one at the moment but I love to watch anything where people sing in competition like The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent and years ago Stars In Your Eyes I think it was called where people would impersonate famous stars. Beautiful voices make me cry especially when the judges vote someone through to the next round.

What’s next? One day I’ll book those singing lessons I keep promising myself.

So what’s the message in this story?

Stuck in a rut? Do something brave!

I need to take my own advice!