Beyond words

Posted on June 27th, 2010 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

What I want to say can never be expressed, try as I might. What I am feeling at the moment is the pinnacle of my life experience, and it involves every area of my life.

I have only one prayer at the moment, one focussed, repetitive, honest, intense prayer, and it is simply, “Father you are so good to me, Father you are so good to me, Father you are so good to me…” – It just goes over and over, and you can hear the smile in my voice as I say it. I am just giddy with an overwhelming sense of my Creator’s goodness to me, it is bottomless – it hasn’t stopped. Just when I think it is about to run out, or when I think I have had my share, it just keeps on coming. Then when I feel like I can’t take any more… I get pummelled with more. That is the nature of it.

I am in constant disbelief of how good I have got it. I can’t even go into detail about how good things are at the moment, because it would sound like I have more than my fair share of good things. But I do.

I have the best family in the world, amazing friends, I have had the privilege of sharing a significant part of my life with an incredible wife, phenomenal support from people I have never met, I have shelter, food, jobs I love, health, clothes and ugg boots. I wake up with the least amount of pain I have had for a long time. I have had the privilege of teaching the most amazing group of human beings a teacher, or any person really, could wish for being a part of. I just have it so, so good.

And I know what I am talking about. I have the authority and confidence to say that it is God’s goodness, because I know what He has rescued me from, and I know what He has rescued me to. The darkness that I have experienced is inexplicable. It is not like anything I would want to experience again, nor for it happen to anyone else. I can say that I have been to places that seemed hopeless, yet hope proved itself worthy of clinging to, worthy of retaining its name, worthy of using in sentences where all other sentiments had resigned. Now, my life has had such a complete change, in every way possible, and it is beyond human explanation, beyond what is humanly possible to achieve, beyond what a logical mind could reason.

I have been a part of something so profound, so incredibly real, that it has left me gobsmacked, speechless, lost for words. The upside of this predicament is that I haven’t been able to shut up about it for the last few weeks. The people who I have run into during the day get the 5 or 10 minute version. I give them the rundown of what has gone on for the last 3 years. They have little chance to escape, but usually they are as speechless as much as I am speechfull, if I may use a made up word.

I know whatever happens in my life from this point is a miracle. If I go and buy a litre of milk, it is a miracle. If I ran out of petrol on the freeway yesterday, hypothetically, it was a miracle. If I have to have that same hypothetical vehicle towed because it broke down and I end up telling the truck driver my story, it is a miracle. If I get up in the morning bright and early, it is a miracle – but that one always was really.

If I do end up tripping over my shoelaces and land awkwardly on a forsaken pin cushion, inflicting a wound that gradually became infected by a species of bacterium for which no antibiotic existed, or indeed if cancer returned, and I was fatally affected, I know that already many miracles have taken place in my life, especially in the last 4 months. I would die knowing that my Creator has been so good to me, so very, very good to me. I say this, not because it pleases anyone around me – that accomplishes nothing – but because I can’t stop declaring it, to others, and to myself.

It sure beats the prayer only back in April I think, where my statement to God was, “Father, it must get better than this, it must get better than this…” This is where I forced myself to declare the truth, even when my body ached with pain, and my mind was conducting its own wrestling match between wanting to die and doing the right thing by hanging around. Nobody knows the full story of what has gone on for me. Some people know a lot, but the whole picture is still a mystery to me, although it is slowly unfolding.

The treasure that I feel like I have received – the grace, the second and third and fourth chances, the provision, the support, the opportunities etc., have been given to me despite my failure to do good, despite my failed relationship, despite my shortcomings, despite my selfishness. Such is the nature of God. He longs to be gracious to us, He yearns to lavish goodness on us, He can’t wait to overwhelm us with stuff that is so individually tailored to give us the desires of our hearts. This stuff is stated in scripture, and I could just read it, but I can say it is soooo much better to experience it first-hand.

So I have no agenda in saying any of this. It is just oozing from me at the moment. I do not have a sponsorship deal with Heaven, nor do I care about impressing anyone by saying what I say. It is just naturally spilling out as a minute taste of what is going on in my heart and head.

I am so thankful for each and every one who has been praying, thinking, supporting and loving me and Libs and my fam throughout this time. I am so humbled by such loving people, selfless people, people who have taught me depths of human character whilst seamlessly demonstrating God’s character. It has been one incredible journey, as well as many incredible journeys.

There is going to be more to come. For the first time in a long time, my head, body and spirit want to participate in every part of this gift of life by making every breath, every contact, every event and every connection with another, count.

I want to take whatever opportunities to tell people what has gone on in my life. So if I get the chance to speak in schools, churches, cancer support groups, nudist colonies, youth groups, you name it… I will be there. If you want to come and meet with others who are also keen to understand more about our Creator and us in relationship to Him, I can’t begin to express how much I have been supported and encouraged by friends at The Mission. We meet on a Sunday arvo at 4 in North Perth Town Hall. If you want to hang with real people who are not interested in mediocre faith, then come along.

I have much more to say.

2 comments.

Blown away

Posted on June 23rd, 2010 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I can’t begin to describe how happy I am at the moment, but I will try.

It is about 2am and I can’t sleep.  It is raining, and I am snuggled in bed warm and comfortable, although a little insomniatic. I just feel incredibly content and overwhelmingly happy (the English language can be so restricting at times).

I had a great day at work today.  I love being at Uni, and the Education Faculty of a University is probably one of the most powerful and influential centers of our society.  If you can influence a student teacher for the better, they can influence their classroom students when they have their classes.  I have about 40 teachers in my classes, all of whom will have roughly 25 students next year.  In two degrees of separation, about a thousand kids can be affected by the actions of us as teachers.  Quite a privilege. Quite a responsibility.  Important to get it right.

It has taken a week to settle back into tutoring, I was a bit rough at the start, but now I just love it so much that things are flowing a lot better.  One of the main reasons I left mainstream teaching was due to outcomes-based education that has sucked toilet water since its inception in our education system.  After many passionate discussions with principals, colleagues, university lecturers and some colourful letters written to education ministers regarding the manuristic basis of outcomes-based philosophies, I am teaching pre=service teachers how to pretend to use it, knowing that it is now being phased out. Hallelujah.

I have constant reminders that I have the best friends and family that I could ever have hoped for.  I am thankful for them everyday, and thankful for the many who have prayed for me over such a long time, or supported me with encouragement.  I feel it would take another lifetime for me to show the extent of my gratitude for everyone who has seen me through these years, but I will use this lifetime to convey what I can.

I can’t shut up about my story.  I tell people what has gone on in my life, and tell them with excitement and not an inch of doubt about how God has stepped in, how friends have stepped up, and how family have stepped along.  I feel I can talk about suffering with some sense of authority.  Not that I have experienced an extreme suffering, but enough for me to articulate to others that the presence of suffering in this world doesn’t prove the absence of a loving God, but rather highlights beyond a doubt for me how much we need a loving God in this world – a Saviour from this brokenness.  The love and support that I have received from friends, family, and people I will never meet illustrates just how severely God created us in His image. These few examples need more than a sentence to explain, but their truths exist for me stronger than ever.

So I listen to the rain tonight in the wee hours of the morning, grinning.  Rain is what God has often used to proclaim His presence to me most clearly over the years.  Growing up in Albany, where drizzle seemed constant.  Experiencing the almost daily thunderstorms in the Blue Ridge Mountains over 3 summers in the Carolinas.  Feeling the powerful deluges of the wet season in Darwin.  There is something about the rain that puts me at peace immediately.  Having lightning shock me through the ground during a electrical storm whilst drenched and on the top of a mountain back in 1996 would be an exception to that peaceful feeling – but it was memorable, all the same.

4 comments.

The talk beside

Posted on June 13th, 2010 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

During the darkest times over the last year or so, I wrote down some of the prayers that came out, usually out of despair.  They are recorded here.

1 comment.

Rebuilding

Posted on June 8th, 2010 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Some days I literally can’t believe I am where I am, wherever I am.  My life has had such a complete turnaround.

It has just gone 6am, and I am watching an incredible sunrise while on a flight to Port Hedland.  A producer, cameraman and I are spending most of the week filming a 20 minute tutorial/documentary on one of the Indigenous languages of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  It is quite a privilege to be coordinating this project, as many of the Indigenous languages are dying out, and will continue to do so unless our generation can capture as much as we can in any form of media, in addition to the passing down of the languages from the elders.  It will certainly be an interesting week.  We are working closely with one of the primary schools in Hedland, filming lessons taught by one of the elders who teaches at the school.

I have been incredibly busy in the last month.  It seems everything has happened at once, and everything that is happening is great!  Somehow, I have ended up working in four different jobs, as well as spending one day a week doing my own projects.  The job that I am working at for this week is as a project coordinator for an organization called Wyemando (www.wyemando.org.au). This involves coordinating media projects that preserve and teach Indigenous languages in WA.  I usually just work one day a week with this organization, but we are filming a major project this week and I will take a break over the next month while it is being edited.

The silver work is quite busy also.  Dad has been fantastic in getting the studio up and running and helping me out with the orders when I run out of time or energy.  There is a short YouTube video on the site that shows a little of the process of making the silver items.  You can see it at www.harrisandson.com.au.

Job number three I have been working has been with Edith Cowan University as a prac supervisor, or University Colleague as they call them now.  This just involves overseeing pre-service teachers as they do their teaching pracs in primary schools.  I am based at Joondalup which is about half an hour away, but it is a job that I really love and is very flexible as I work whatever hours I want.  I try and do this one or two days a week at the moment.

Job four is also at the Uni, and I start this week when I get home as a tutor at the ECU campus in Joondalup also.  The unit is a preparation unit for fourth year education students to get them ready for their pracs.  It works out perfectly as I have two tute groups in the same afternoon and can do my supervising stuff in the mornings.

In the time I have left over in the week I have been working on my own mini-documentaries and education website.  I am hoping to launch it all in about a month.  There is still a lot to do, but I am really enjoying it and learning a lot as I go.

Health-wise, the most significant event in the last week was that I came right off my painkillers.  This has been a mammoth task, and I have found it incredibly difficult to break the dependency, both physically and mentally.  At my worst, I was losing count of how many tablets of Oxycontin/Oxynorm I was taking, but it got to 300- 400mg a day on some days, and this has been going on since November last year.  Last week, I got down to 30mg a day for a few days then stopped.  My body got exceptionally angry with me, causing all over body pain, acute hip pain, muscle cramps, sweats, anxiety and swings into depression.  I recognized the depression more as a result of the withdraw, as usually over the last couple of months I have been in really good spirits.  Previously, I used to be able to feel within a matter of minutes when my body was low on painkillers and I would have to leave the shopping or work or whatever I was doing at the time before I became hysterical in public.  On a couple of occasions, I got caught without the tablets and it was never pretty.  It all got to a point where I almost had a personal relationship with the tablets.  I was going to be ok as long as they were with me.

1 comment.

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