Friday, 28 September 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Being away from the friary so long, I feel like an alien - a stranger in my own back yard. The garden is looking unkempt reflecting the way I feel though the silver birch is looking good! There have been changes, which were not on the horizon before I went away and fitting back in is a struggle. Many years ago my family had a dog and while on holiday he would be left at the kennels. There was an initial fuss when we returned, then we got the sulk treatment (you left me at the kennels. I thought you weren’t coming back). Life here of course has not changed in relation to the occupants, but I have been elsewhere.
My conversation is briefly acknowledged and I try not to sound as if I had a wonderful time; BUT I DID!
The first excursion was to a small seaside town, quiet and very clean. A short retreat, which I was in much need of, the programme was varied and included time to stretch our legs down to the beach (the photo is a few of my friends looking out to sea). There was a good balance of thought, prayer, sharing and laughter and we finished with a pub lunch on the Sunday.
Exploring the theme "Journey" we used a large rail card to write on, our destination / starting point / what we will take. I am pleased to have kept mine as the memory fades quickly and some of my writing I felt was important to me.
Leeds mission week was tiring, I am beginning to feel my age, we had some younger folk on the team and I was happy to do some of the cooking. The team were encouraged by the number of times we were in the right place at the right time even though it was not planned. God blesses a willing heart and makes good use of opportunities. The use of dance and drama on the streets drew young people to us and in Millennium square Saturday (after midnight) revellers joined in with us and shared some of their stories. Leeds is not a stranger to gun crime, terrorism and it was a privilege to be among many folk young and old as we served in school, church, street, pubs and clubs.
Last night was a pleasant surprise, a visitor who I had not seen for some time. It was a joy to hear how his journey with the Lord recently had taken off with a whoosh! The excitement and joy in his awareness of Gods presence was evident; and the sense it was not in his own strength moreover it was something he felt he did not deserve but in his service to others he was becoming all that God had in store for him. This was not the same young man I knew before, we prayed before he left and promised to meet again soon.
Note to evening office: Lord may I not despair but hold on to the hope I have in you.