October 28, 2013
by Wendy Francis
Alice: Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
The Mad Hatter: That is an excellent practice.
In Lewis Carroll’s story, Alice in Wonderland, we meet an inquisitive, bold and brave young girl who believes in the impossible. I identify with Alice in so many ways - I love an impossible project! There’s a lot that puzzles me in life. Sometimes I look around and think the world has gone mad! I am prepared to fight for what is right. I value friendship. I tend to take people on face value. And I hate injustice.
My favourite part in Alice’s story is when she comes face to face with the arch enemy, the Jabberwock, who is the champion of the red Queen. Alice has no idea how she will defeat this formidable foe but then the white Queen hands her the Vorpal sword – the only thing that can defeat the evil Jabberwock. As Alice takes the sword, the Queen tells her that it will know what to do and it will win the battle for her. Once on the battlefield, the dialogue between Alice and her foe is fabulous.
Jabberwocky: So my old foe, we meet on the battlefield once again.
Alice: We’ve never met.
Jabberwocky: Not you, insignificant bearer. My ancient enemy, the Vorpal one.
And so, trusting in the sword in her hand, she steps up to the fight. And after a fierce battle, OFF goes the Jabberwock’s head!
I grew up in a godly, loving home with four amazing sisters who I love very much. My husband and I have been married for 34 years, we have 3 married children and 10 amazing grandchildren. Add to that the blessing of being Australian. In this wonderful country, I don’t wake in the morning wondering whether there will be a long wait at the well when I go to draw water for the day. At the recent federal election I did not experience any undue pressure to vote a particular way. Neither did I expect to be in any danger when I went out to vote. I go shopping and eat out without fear. I have access to good doctors and hospitals. Yes, I am blessed indeed.
In the book of Luke in the Bible we read, ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.’ I feel this weight of responsibility that comes with great blessing. But Jesus has promised that His yoke is easy to bear and the burden He gives us is light.
In Matthew 25 we read a story that Jesus told his followers of a master who is going away on a trip. Before leaving, he gives to three of his servants an amount of money according to their ability to use it wisely in his absence. Those who enlarged the original gift were rewarded, but the one who buried the gift was sent away in shame.
Each of us are created with a purpose, with God-given talents to use for His glory and for the good of others. And when I am using those gifts, I feel the wind beneath my wings. It’s not that life is easy. I, like so many others, have experienced deep and intense sorrow. But I am convinced that God’s plans for me are for my good and not for harm. They are where I will find hope and a future.
From a professional background in University and Church management roles, God placed on my heart a deep concern for the families and children in our society who do not know Him. So many are hurting. Badly. Our foster system is failing. One in four of our Qld children are known to child services. In high risk areas this rises to two in every three. Our society is so hyper-sexualised that our children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing is being affected with the rise of eating disorders, depression and appearance anxiety. Their cognitive and emotional development is being affected, they are having sex younger and they do not understand gender roles.
The mantra that I seek to live by is to “Speak the Truth in Love”. We are called to be salt and light and to bless the place where we live (Matthew 5:13-14); to work for its peace and prosperity (Jeremiah 29:7); to free the captives. This is a spiritual battle. And there is so much that each of us can do. Like Alice, there is only one weapon that can win the battle. But unlike Alice, our weapon is real. It is our sword – The Word of God (Ephesians 6:17); it is God’s Truth. And as we take up the sword, we watch as God does the impossible - “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).