Tag Archives: justice

The Day I Got Burgled In My Sleep

  
Waking up, still half asleep I was 50% sure I’d heard a sound and 50% too tired to worry. Some time passed it could have been a minute, it could have been 20 (you know how sleep works) and whilst being too timid to investigate, I was 100% on the verge of wetting the bed so I dragged myself up and headed to the bathroom, only to be stopped in my tracks by a definite sound…one not being made by an inanimate object or being made by the only two other people that should have been in the apartment as they were fast asleep. Looking through the bedroom door that was ajar I could see the front door to the apartment that we had locked before bed was also ajar. That was probably one of the most scary moments I’ve ever been faced with. I woke up my friends and headed to the bathroom, with the single thought that if I was going to be killed it would be with the dignity that didn’t involve wee running down my legs. 

After my friends went to check the coast was clear we discovered whoever had entered had thankfully left, leaving the backdoor wide open. Hours later we realised we were an iPad and all of my holiday money down. All the plans I had for that money stolen and replaced with the prospect of spending more money than I’d budgeted on the break that, up until this point, had been amazing. I will backtrack a little so you can have a better picture of the events.

My last holiday was full of the unexpected, in every single sense, with a mix of good and bad surprises. I booked a flight to see my maid of honour who decided to exchange the gloomy grey of London for the concrete jungle that is New York for the year, and prepared myself for 5 days of sleeping, a spot of sightseeing and some regular exercising. What I received was a surprise that my other best friend had also arrived in New York and news that we were headed to Miami for part 1 of 3 of my hen do. Yes I have the best friends ever and yes I’m on the edge of my seat for parts 2 and 3. We had three days of sun, never-ending portions of seafood and celeb spotting as we found ourselves in VIP lounges. The flight to Miami I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be going to Miami with everything organised behind my back and the flight to New York was spent not believing I had been robbed right under my nose, but apart from cash loss had left unscathed. Getting over the anger of being robbed, the gratitude that I still had all 10 fingers and toes and hadn’t had the near death experience that are known to come with break-ins. 

Imagine I’d awoken whilst the intruder had been in the bedroom and they’d decided killing me would stop them getting caught

Imagine they were after more than just monetary goods and had decided to take us hostage with hope of a ransom fee

Imagine they didn’t want to steal at all but commit a heinous sex attack

In that moment I praised God that I had been robbed, alive to tell the tale, and not too traumatised by the events. 

Is anyone a fan of the comedian Eddie Izzard? I personally don’t really tune in to his comedy, but he said something recently at the Apollo that had me squirming in the inside, cracking my brain as to how to change his opinion that undoubtedly many people all over the world share.

In the words of a true sceptic he asked the audience ‘when has God ever done anything to interfere with all the natural disasters and crappy things this world has suffered?’ (I’m paraphrasing here) but you get the gist. If you studied Religious Studies at school you’ll recognise this as as the anti-God triangle argument against Christ, which basically says the existence of evil and suffering in the world isn’t compatible with the existing of a God that is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present. After hearing Eddie I had the same thoughts and feelings I’d had sitting in my RS lesson wondering what I was going to have for dinner.

Just because you don’t know the things God has done, don’t assume he hasn’t done anything at all

This very morning a man gave up his seat before an elderly lady got on the bus. She offered no thank you because she didn’t know that he was standing just so she could have seat, and the man felt no need to tell her, simply happy that he had done something nice for her. If mere mortals can offer altruism with no desire for gratitude how much more can God happily stand in the gap for us, happy to know that we are better off than we could have been without writing in the clouds to say all the near misses with misfortune we had that day.

I thank God for the things I know he’s done and the things that I’m completely unaware of.

To my God who watches out for me, regardless of my gratitude, I love you!
Love Dani
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Will The Police Ever Stop Killing Black People?

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Currently, there are lots of hot topics getting our lips moving and tongues wagging. The Leaders Debate, featuring the best politicians Britain has to offer a collection of people, who have skilfully have one way or another, acquired the position as the Head of their respective parties, was surprisingly entertaining  and unquestionably frustrating all at the same time.

It would be wrong not to mention just how well Ed (yes, I call him Ed) performed at this point.

If for some magic reason you’re reading this Ed, (I had a huge debate this week about how shortening your name does make you seem quite personable) I want you to know that you did me proud. I digress. What I found quite entertaining was their belief that they all stood for something unique and if elected would implement wildly different policies to that of their competitors. Although it was almost sweet, their beliefs were juxtaposed with the extremely irritating way that they answered questions.

It’s funny how politicians all have their speech enveloped in that ‘I- think-you’re-quite-unintelligent-across-the-board-but-I-hope-you-can’t-tell-that-I’m-struggling-to-dumb-things-down-for-you’ and none of us are really allowed to complain. Why can’t we complain? We can’t complain because hearing people speak in obnoxious tones with sentences that are inherently insubstantial enough is all we really expect from the strange group we call Politicians.

Collectively, politicians are a group of people that we expect very little from. However, since they hold the keys to the doors that have been slammed in our faces and the ones we’ve been banging on in hope for years, they demand lots of our attention. So when they all get together and grace our TV screens with a more rehearsed version of their jumble of their manifestos, we are amused but never surprised. When they claim they’ll do x, y, and z but spend their whole term implementing l, m, n, o, p, we are slightly disgruntled but never surprised. When they claim to be all about the people but secretly spend our hard earned cash making a mockery and claiming ‘expenses’, we are highly disappointed but never surprised. And why should we be? They’re just people in power behaving the way people in power do: abusing the system on various levels with a slight arrogance.

When I heard of yet another police man killing yet another Black man, I was hurt, frustrated, angry and all the other emotions you feel when something is so clearly wrong but you feel helpless as to its reoccurrence. But I wasn’t surprised. Then I watched the recording of the incident and it hit me: the surprise I thought was no longer possible to feel. I was surprised at the extent of the cruelty.

‘We’ have come so far and yet we are humans sharing a planet with others of our kind who have limitless destruction capability and what seems like hidden cruelty planted deep in some of our hearts. We expect people in power to abuse it and we expect systems to work against us to varying extents according to our gender, race, or creed but we do not expect to see weapons planted on victims after they have been murdered by police officers.

I watched the video featuring Walter Scott as he was murdered in South Carolina and my heart ached at the sheer brutality of humanity.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36‬:‭26-27 (NKJV)

I remember when I read that scripture and I thought ‘heart of stone’ was a bit extreme but you look at the atrocities that have been committed throughout history and it becomes a complete understatement. By all means we are not all the makings of Hitler, we will not all join IS, or start genocides, or cause wars… but we all need Jesus. Of course people claiming to be Christian commit atrocities but a true relationship with Christ takes us away from the sinful lives we lead, ever closer to a life exemplifying the love that our father in Heaven shows us. Only God can begin that transformation.

I remain speechless at the events that led to the murder of Walter Scott but I will take my frustrations to God because only he can change our stories.

Love Dani xxx

Oscar Pistorious: Affluent. Role Model. Murderer?

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As far as athletes go Oscar Pistorious is pretty famous. Before February 2013 we all knew him as the man who became a double amputee aged 11 months, successful Paralympian, who won his fight to compete against able bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympics. Pretty revolutionary if you ask me. Whether or not earning £320,000 yearly makes him affluent or not is up for debate (it’s not quite successful rapper money, but it is more money that half the world’s population will ever see) as an example of someone who made lemonade, lemon pie, and lemon meringue out of life’s lemons, he’s an outstanding candidate for being your not so average role model. Now he’s on trial for murder.

We all wait with baited breath when celebrities are on trial because we want to see just how much leverage being a celeb gets you in court. I mention Oscar because in most of our minds he’s guilty of murder. His recount of the shooting, though very imaginative, seems rather far-fetched, and we’re all eagerly waiting for him to get off so that we can say justice can be purchased- an extremely problematic conclusion, shifting the Criminal Justice System  into camp corruption. Whether you’re being tried in a court in America, Britain, or Timbuktu we all share in the belief ‘ain’t nobody care if you’re a rich role model, the law is the law.’

Funny how we all subscribe to a measure that God doesn’t even take into consideration.

Gone are the days of sheep killing and sacrifices every  time you want to get back into God’s good books. We’re living in the new covenant of declaring with our mouths and believing in our hearts to qualify for salvation.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

On this basis, we can easily say ‘fairness’ has been chucked out with curtains (bit of biblical irony for you-if you know you know 😉 considering that the penalty of sin is supposed to be death. Justice would have been for us to die (sentenced to hell) and here we are being offered life (never-ending party in heaven). So where does that leave us in God’s courtroom? We see God as this all-powerful, infallible judge but we don’t realise that God is everybody in that room, lawyer, jury, best friend and all.

The most important thing I’ll say today (quite hard for me to say considering I’m one of those people who believes everything they say is important, or at least worth listening to) is that: God doesn’t want to see you fail.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:13.

I’d like you to do something for me. I know it’s early on in our relationship and it’s a bit soon to be asking for favours but I’m going to ask anyway. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, don’t need to appear in court for cyber-peer pressure (if that’s even a thing).

Ok I’m just going to come out and say it…

For a few seconds I need you to go on a short journey in your brain and don’t stop till you reach the door labelled ‘Your imagination’. Ok are you in? Going to have to assume you’re here. For the latecomers, when you arrive I need to you to imagine you’re in God’s courtroom.

Ok, so we’re in God’s courtroom, let’s start with God the Judge. Even people who aren’t Christian imagine God as this being (usually made of clouds that resembles an old man- similar to the guy on the KFC bucket) who sits on a throne deciding if people have been ‘good’ enough to go to heaven. My own name means God is my judge, and we all know at least one person who has ‘only God can judge me’ stamped on their arms. Needless to say we’re all on board with the idea of God as this powerful judge who holds the people’s fates in his hands. I think now is a good point to mention that the verdict is already in and God declares you righteous. Whether you helped the old lady with her shopping or called in sick to work because you ran out of your holiday allowance, the minute you gave your life to Christ, God declared you righteous. Simples.

Maybe God the lawyer will be a bit harder to imagine. I used to see God as the prosecution, gathering evidence of my sins, so he could judge me guilty. Never really considered that God was my defence. Revelation 12:10: Satan is the accuser of your faith. Satan is the one who calls you by your sin and gets you to buy into the idea that your sin is your defining characteristic. God is in your corner, wiping the sweat off your brow as you prepare to re-engage in the good fight of faith. It’s by God’s grace that we can live a life without sin, and where there is sin, his grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20). He didn’t just do you the ultimate favour by dying on the cross for your sins, he’s cheering you on every step of the way.

We can easily imagine God as the jury, deliberating our fate, judging by the inner workings of our hearts instead of our actions, but he’s also the best friend who turns up every day in court to see if we’re ok. Serving God can feel like an uphill struggle when you’re trying to go it alone. Working in all those group projects at school that made you want plan the extinction of every member of your group, cemented the ‘trust no man, if you want something done do it yourself mentality.’ However, repeatedly repenting for the same sins week in week out woke me up to the fact that I couldn’t be independent in my walk with God. Serving God takes complete dependence on that very same God. FYI- if you’re part of team Independent, you may as well give up now:

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

God is that friend that doesn’t ever stop wanting to be in your company. You don’t have to go it alone (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Ok imagination time over. Thank you for your co-operation. That’s God’s courtroom from my eyes. God plays all the roles and fights for your innocence because he doesn’t actually want to judge you guilty. When you think of God as this guy who’s eagerly waiting to throw the book at you and sentence you to hell remember that he loves you. Everyday can feel like a trial, but you’ve missed sight of the point if you think it’s all about rules and regulations. Everything God does is because he loves you (John 3:16)

In your striving to please God remember that love is what it’s all about

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself. Galatians 5:14

As you keep up with Oscar’s trial, count your blessings that God doesn’t judge you in the way that the Earth judges. Oscar’s fate will be (mostly) determined by justice. Be glad that you live by grace.

Godbless, Dani xxxxxx