Just Zoë, Just Life

Monthly Archives: September 2012



The Lord is my light and my salvation –
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life –
    of whom shall I be afraid?


Two tremendous things happened today.

The police called. They told me they arrested and interviewed the one who abused me when I was a child. He denied it (of course – after nearly 30 years of hiding his crimes, he’s hardly going to put his hands up now, is he?). Now it is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to decide how to proceed.

I have no desire for revenge. I want justice.

My dear friend Kay, knowing we have but two days left to blast off (the day we move to a whole new area), came round this morning and gave me the time to talk about how I was feeling (which amounted to every emotion possible, all at once). She then helped me clear out all my clothes and decide which I was giving to charity, which I would pack away ready for removal and which I wanted to keep out to wear over the next few days. I was emotionally all over the place, due to the phonecall, so Kay’s calming, patient presence was coolness and balm incarnate.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:4,5

Today God has done just that. He gave me the presence of not only my beloved Frank, but also the wonderful Kay. I’m going to miss her terribly when we go.

Aside: Psalm 27 is one of the most beautiful of the psalms. I hope one day to read it in Hebrew. I’d love to know the sounds and shapes of the original poetry.

I was in sixth grade. Every morning of middle school I caught the warm yellow bus at a very early hour to be transported to the magnet school across town. After collecting me and my brother and our friends from our white neighborhood the bus winded through many other neighborhoods, neighborhoods I would never see otherwise, and the black kids joined us on the social microcosm that is a school bus. And there we sat for the hour long bus ride to and fro, daily, in segregated integration. I didn’t like the black girls only because I was afraid they didn’t like me. They didn’t like me because they were afraid I didn’t like them. And so we disliked and misunderstood each other for two hours every day across the streets of Houston. 

That morning the bus was at a stoplight in one of those other neighborhoods. My little girlfriends and I discussed the latest horror fiction we had snuck past our moms until we heard the bang. So loud. Then the school bus was completely silent and forty or so black and white children were unified for the first time ever by the shocking sight on the other side of the glass.

His car was completely sliced in two by the telephone pole. Like a knife through butter…

To read more of this powerful blog post from It’s Almost Naptime, click here:




As for us, the packing is ongoing. Four days to blast off!

The youtube sensation that insults the prophet Mohammed has caused worldwide violent outrage from Muslims, the death of an American diplomat, and rising justification for everyone in the West to think of Islam, indeed all Muslims, as very wicked indeed.


Or has it?




This is a very thoughtful article from Avaaz about all the things you haven’t heard, because they haven’t been reported, or have been glossed over. Some hugely important questions are raised about how the media can be used to manipulate people. It brings to mind Nazi propaganda about Jews in the 1930s (in fact, it makes me think that the Nazi propagandists were amateurs in comparison).


Here is an extract of the article from Avaaz:

‘1. Early estimates put participation in anti-film protests at between 0.001 and 0.007% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims – a tiny fraction of those who marched for democracy in the Arab spring.** 

2. The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful. The breaches of foreign embassies were almost all organised or fuelled by elements of the Salafist movement, a radical Islamist group that is most concerned with undermining more popular moderate Islamist groups. 

3. Top Libyan and US officials are divided over whether the killing of the US ambassador to Libya was likely pre-planned to coincide with 9/11, and therefore not connected to the film. 

4. Apart from attacks by radical militant groups in Libya and Afghanistan, a survey of news reports on 20 September suggested that actual protesters had killed a total of zero people. The deaths cited by media were largely protesters killed by police. 

5. Pretty much every major leader, Muslim and western, has condemned the film, and pretty much every leader, Muslim and western, has condemned any violence that might be committed in response. 

6. The pope visited Lebanon at the height of the tension, and Hezbollah leaders attended his sermon, refrained from protesting the film until he left, and called for religious tolerance. Yes, this happened. 

7. After the attack in Benghazi, ordinary people turned out on the streets in Benghazi and Tripoli with signs, many of them in English, apologising and saying the violence did not represent them or their religion. ‘

**Bold highlighting is my own addition.

Please click the link above and read for yourself the rest of the article.


One of the comments on the article’s page echoes my own response: ‘Initially I was focused on the stupidity of the film. Then I became focused on the stupidity of the reaction to the stupidity of the film. Is this where we are as a species? Where a sleazebag film can drive International affairs? If so, then it’s just a matter of time before we become extinct.’


Quite. Let us educate ourselves and our children. I remember Jesus’ words:

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:9

He also said to love yourself, love your neighbour and love your enemies, and continually responded to the manipulative, sometimes wicked, behaviour of those around him with informed rationality, authority-with-humility, and the peace that passes understanding. May we do the same.

I am reblogging this because we are so busy with packing and preparing to move house.

This post so resonated with me, and describes so well this little boy’s personality and behaviour, and the effect his disability has on his world, positive and negative, and on his family. It was like reading about HRH when he was small. I think unless you have SEN kids you can never really know what it is like, but this post details a single hour, out of a very long day, extremely well.

Life with an Autistic Son

This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.

LWAAS 3d book cover

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I wanted to share this beautiful post from jennifertousey.com.

The packing continues…

Reblogging instead of posting afresh because I am packing, ready to move in less than two weeks o_O This is from a series I wrote in May. The reblog was inspired by http://goinswriter.com/story-begins/#disqus_thread



And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher.

And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:20,21 (Amplified bible)

Just Zoë, Just Life

I ended yesterday by asking what happens when life tells you that you have no value. There are many reasons that this might occur. One of the biggest causes is poverty. It is possible to live in very poor conditions and know that you are valued. Wess Stafford talks of this in his book Too Small to Ignore. While the village where he grew up was incredibly poor, they were rich in love and in community. Of course, when life is so hard that each day is just about survival, you don’t even have the time to wonder whether you ‘have value’. Life becomes an existence, an hourly struggle. Also, I have no idea whether Wess’ experience of a loving community is common. I suspect not. And he speaks in heart-wrenching detail about the times when love was not enough to save the life of a child whose death was…

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