Thursday, October 13, 2011

13th October

I still feel quite good today which shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it is. I’m glad I decided to have these few days away as the location is so very peaceful, it’s done me a lot of good. Tomorrow I need to return home, but I can easily get back here especially as my motorhome is nicely winterised. Anyway, I picked up my old ‘camping-guitar’ this morning and had a good time with the Lord. Then I had fun trying to write a folk song which is a first. But it will take quite a lot more work to be anything like presentable and I’d really like to write love songs to the Lord as an act of worship  but my musical skills are at base camp number one in that department so we’ll see. I sang an old Phatfish song called ‘There is a Day’ and that started me thinking about the date I made with Jane shortly before she died, the one where we need to look out for each other when the rapture occurs. So after she stops laughing at my long hair she’ll ask me how it was for me after she had to leave. And as I turn to her, to tell my story of this journey through grief, out of my mouth will come the words ‘I can’t remember!’ Oh yes, for sure we’ll recall our life and especially our loved ones but though we won’t be stripped of our memories we will be healed of the pain and trauma that so much of life offers each one of us. It won’t be so much that we can’t remember pain it’ll be more that we won’t remember, it’s a choice thing. So will I remember pain… no! Will I remember love… yes!

And the love of God is the foundation of all that is good on planet earth, so if I want to see more of God in my life I have to choose to love more. Jane was easy to love and I’ll have much to take with me into the future. There may or may not be another that I could find easy to love in that way but that’s in the Lord’s hands and certainly not for today. In the meantime I have children and grandchildren and sons in law to love and that’s really easy. And there are lots of other friends and family that I don’t know so well but it’s always easy to respond in love to their needs when they share as well. No, the real challenge is in loving the unlovely… the homeless, the socially dysfunctional, maybe those with learning difficulties and basically all those who aren’t really in my peer group. It’s not that these people are difficult to care about it’s just that it takes a lot of effort to engage with them. But it can be very satisfying and has it’s own rewards. Many years ago I started talking to a ‘street-person’ sheltering in our local Christian book shop, it ended up with us taking him home to feed him and a relationship started that lasted maybe a year or so. He had a lovely gentle Christian spirit, with a profound knowledge of the Bible and some fascinating stories of the miraculous amongst the homeless; but his life was a mess. We had him stay the night on several occasions until he confessed that he’d served a life sentence, for some unspecified crime, which certainly gave us pause for thought as we had young children at the time. But we remained totally at peace and continued sheltering him until he moved on to Leicester and we lost touch with him.

Right now, today, I’m not sure if I have much ‘give’ in me. But the strength to give really comes from God in the form of Grace… and he has plenty of that! So one day I hope to serve again, maybe in the same way, probably in a totally different way. But for sure I want to help people to meet with God, to know his presence, his protection, his care, his provision for their every need and to know that he loves them as much as he loves me. I want some more stories of God’s love to take with me into eternity. Be nice if the pain eased a bit now though… but it’s getting better.

Matthew 25:35-40 ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV)

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