Laughing and crying at the same time


Another “terror attack” overnight in central London.  A fundraiser today in Manchester for the “terror attack” last week.  Islam and Muslims again the target of hatred and suspicion.

I was on a tube train on Friday.  Travelling from our central London office to the overground station and a train home.  There were two girls in the crowded carriage.  Something about them looked “wrong”.  They looked tired and broken (but not). They had the look of hopelessness.  I got out of the carriage and the next stop and moved into the one behind. Calculated.  Very coldly calculated.  There were enough bodies to absorb a small blast between them and me.  Had they had those big back-packs I would have waited for the next tube train.  I found out that commuters make similar decisions as they travel to and from work.  I travel in and out once a week.  My colleagues do it each day.

Christians and Muslims – or indeed those of any faith – seem to be uncomfortable talking about these details.  Uncomfortable admitting the same emotions, anger, hatred and self-survival of the “unfaithed”.  All this God stuff comes with the perception of walking through this pseudo-religious terror stuff with a pure heart and a pure mind (while all the “human stuff” comes with a bravado and bullshit of getting through another day).


I learned from the bible to put ordinary into God.  To embrace who I am as a celebration of a God who I can only take from the cues of others as well as my own living.  A God who is real to me but who fits no sacred text or documented religion.  A God who would never countenance the “tribal warfare” of my documented “god” – who never “needs” you or me to kill you or me in the name of any documented “god”.

And something I learned from Facebook this morning is that “ordinary” can laugh and cry at the same time.  Ordinary has to live no matter what is going on in the next country, city, street, house – even the next tube carriage.

Ordinary is death and tears and life and laughter all at the same time.  Because in the midst of all the media wailing and tears this morning came this gem:

“For once in my life I would like to get up in the morning and be as excited as my penis.”

This morning I learned again that I could cry and laugh both at the same time.

This morning I learned again that killing people has everything to do with a “god” kept safe – nothing to do with a God of the ordinary – nothing to do with a blade of metal – everything to do with a blade of grass – nothing to do with an explosion of death – everything to do with an explosion of life.

And just for the record …

I move carriages when anyone looks as though they are a threat to my living.  I have moved carriages many times in the years I have commuted.  We live an ordinary life of unexpected extraordinary death.

Which is why I love the bible.

It shows me a god of the ordinary.  One who embraces ordinary living and not extraordinary dying.  One who embraces what is free rather than what must be earned.  A God who is found in ordinary loving and ordinary living and in just “ordinary lifing” itself.

Because I have never ever moved carriages when that is all I see.

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2 thoughts on “Laughing and crying at the same time

    • Hi Paula – someone heart is always aching somewhere. Just as someone’s is always laughing. More and more I am finding it is okay to say I can do both.

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