I asked for little things at Greenbelt

So, God is talking to me. From the moment a work colleague, Luke told a story in the Morning meeting about not forgetting to ask for the little things…I’ve been hearing Him.

Luke, who staggers his work hours to avoid crowded tube’s after 7/7, makes a point of noting who is sitting near him in a carriage. So when the tube he was on pulled into a station, and people left and refilled the carriage, he’d actually taken the time to ‘look’ at the comings and goings around him. The next person to sit next to him found an iPhone on the seat, and asked if it was Luke’s. It wasn’t his, but Luke had immediate an empathy for the guy who’d lost it…who, incidentally…Luke remembered.

Luke is a social media freak. (maybe freak’s too strong a word) but he’s always on his iPhone. He lost his once, and I think a little piece of his world crumbled.

He prayed that the guy and his phone would be reunited. And felt silly about this, because God obviously has a lot going on at the moment what with Isreal and the Arab Spring, the England Riots and the end of Col Gaddaffi’s regime.

But God answered. Luke and the stranger got off the tube together. The stranger went one way, saying he would hand the phone in. And Luke went the other..making his way to the exit. Suddenly he noticed a man running desperately towards him with the aim of getting on the tube. It was the man who’d left his phone on the seat.

Luke grabbed him as he was about to shoot past him and said simply, ‘you’re phone just being handed in.’

I’m telling this story as a sign post to my own experiences while at Greenbelt this year. A number of my prayers have been answered. Firstly being the actually ticket to the festival. I’ve always wanted to go, but financial situation I’m in at the moment meant that I wouldn’t have been able to afford it…plus the cost of buying camping gear.

My ticket was provided by CODEC, which meant I worked a couple of hours on their stand, and then had the rest of the time free to explore the festival! My sister knows someone who works in a camping shop…and got 10% off my tent…which ended up being £10. I borrowed a sleeping bag from my mum; and a kettle and camping stove from work. [Thank you Father for providing through friends and family]

The only thing I didn’t have, which would have been nice and saved me buying coffee, was a thermos flask. But then, one morning I was talking to the Communications guy from the London School of Theology when he stopped and said he had a ‘random act of kindness’. He gave me a box, which contained (did you guess?) a thermos flask! [Thank you Lord for hot coffee while i was working on the stand]

I had a really interesting conversation with a guy called Daniel. He’s doing a phd in something like theology and blogging. CODEC is the Centre for Christian Communication in the Digital Age (I know, the acronym doesn’t quite work does it?) but we talked about the impact of social media on Christendom etc. And then I asked where he was from. His Church is in Colliers Wood. I was stunned. I live up the road from there. He then asked if I went to St Nic’s. Which I don’t, but I’ve been wondering about going to a local Church…

I only had around £30 spending money fir the long weekend. And it was enough. Just.
Collecting my car from my parent’s house, I had half a tank. Although, on my way out, my dad had told me to put an extra £10 petrol in, to be safe. And, foregoing a round of beers, I took his advice.

I really wanted to keep £10 aside, just in case. But after rounds had been bought for me at the Jesus Arms by the lovely people i was with and had met, I felt obliged to buy one.

I said goodbye to Greenbelt on Tuesday morning. Looking at my petrol gage, I suddenly felt very silly for spending that last £10 on beer.

I started to pray. Very hard. Hitting Oxfordshire i saw a man at the side of the road hitchhiking. He was holding those temporary number plates they have when they ferry cars from one part if the country to the other. I passed him, thinking about safety before petrol. I got to the M25.. And my gage was on empty. I just prayed.

What with my bank being in a shambles, I’m still unsure if my AA cover is still live. I called the 2nd emergency service…(my parents) to warn them of my predicament. I felt so bad for worrying them. But, to cut it short, I got home. With an empty tank I managed to park on my dad’s driveway. My parents were so surprised to see me.

Victim

I listen to Kings of Leon.. when I’m feeling most crap..It should be something more spiritual I guess; that’s what i used to do. Something that speaks to my soul when I’m not listening.

I was at the solicitors, Law for All. My appointment was for 3pm.. I arrived on time. And I waited with fear and doubt carving ever deeper grooves in my chest. I didn’t see Maria Abdul until around 3.50pm (by then I couldn’t bear to look at the clock anymore)

No I don’t qualify for legal aid. It would be best not to site Adultery ind the divorce, as this makes for more paper work and court time for busy solicitors.

Oh, and I have to do it myself: fill in the forms, take them to court etc.

Ultimately, and feeling as shite as I’m feeling, it was the most discourteous, shit experience I’ve ever had. That added to the fact that I’m going to have to do this myself anyway…So now I can see more crap ahead waiting for me.

Then on the bus.. While a group of black guys argued with and bullied their friend who’d tried to flirt with me, and then the girl next to me accidentally kicked me, and didn’t even look at me to acknowledge an apology, I asked myself.. ‘How long will you be a victim?’

Headstrong

You miss me most when you’re craving
Your heart of discontent
And then you cry you’re worth saving
On this, i daily lament.

It hurts to see you head strong
When your heart is so very weak.
All sacrifice seems worthless. I long
For the prayer which you never speak.

All I ask is that you love me
I made grace so very easy for you
look away from your pained reverie
Trust my strength will see you through.

29.06.11

Sink

There’s a handful of people that, in my heart, i really know i it’s ‘time’ i called. But i have a night to myself – I’ve made food, camomile tea, the TV is off, and the iPod is playing on random…

‘Me time’ has given me the space to mull over a few things; recent conversations, lack of conversations.

I keep thinking about the ‘space’ that appears in my head when people start talking about Him. Take the other day for instance. A friend was praising how well i was handling everything, and this ‘space’ appeared in my head. Like a magic trick in Harry Potter – cast the ‘invisible’ spell, and your eyes just slide off of me…I’m right there in front of you, but you can’t ‘see’ me.

Yes I’m handling it well..but that’s because I’m not handling it. I’m just living the best way i know how – and the rest i give to God…

My reading this morning covered a few parts of the bible, 1 Peter 1:7, about the trials in life that prove our faith. Peter was the focus of Matthew 14:29 also, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

I like Peter; yes he had his doubts, he was headstrong and made mistakes – but with each mistake his faith and hope in JC was strengthened.

Poem: Crackle and burn

See, the crackle and burn of your grace?
Sound sears through icy dark,
Lays a hand on my face

Like solar flares, your love purges,
Frees the mercy you promise.
Faith and trust born, merges.

Nothing could be more simple;
You. Love. Me…
And all you bestow is ample

Nothing’s more harder to understand,
Forgiveness, mercy. Grace.
Only, to take your firery hand.

2 Peter 1:5-9

Poem: Stay

‘Mighty you are’, they say
And how they revere your name
They lift their heads to heaven
Mine dips, with the heaviness of shame

I’ll sit aside and listen. But,
In holiness, did you say ‘compete’?
Chapter and verse escape me
For unworthiness nails me meek

I endeavour to catch just a glimpse
But I’m far too small to see,
Poised on the balls of my feet
Obscured by hands raised in front of me

I’d like to think that you would stay
Carry me, and heal my filthy heart
Could you touch such as me, so defiled?
I pray, ‘Please, stay while I fall apart’.

Romans 8:35 & Luke 7:36-50

I hate weddings

I didn’t take a single photo. And it was a beautiful wedding. The fact that it was at All Souls, and it’s April…grated on me. And if I’m totally honest – I hated every minute. Please don’t tell the bride.

I left the evening reception rather abruptly – dashing out Cinderella-esq after a lovely comment from one of my Fellowship group friends. ‘So, how’s Darren?’

Mortified that I thought I’d heard her wrong, I actually asked her to repeat the question!!

I’d made it through the whole day, and had kept myself together until his name was mentioned. I’m not sure what she was thinking. But she smiled…so I think she enjoyed seeing whatever look must have passed over my face?

I have apologies to make to my other Fellowship Group friends. Who, I might add, have not called to find out if I got home ok, or if I threw myself under the 88 bus?

What the hell is going on with these Christians?

I won’t repeat the unending refrain…I’m tired of it. Hearing it, seeing it in arial 11…yes, it’s a difficult month. But, I have the new flat to think about – which will hopefully take my mind off it a little. And a best friend planning avoidance maneuvers for the end of the month.

I still don’t have to think about divorce…yet.

Poem: Beautiful

I glimpse myself through your eyes
Only when I’m most filthy
Your voice, light through mud
flames burning purity
You make me beautiful

I am what I most despise
But you never see me filthy
You see light in thorns,
My flame ignites
You make me beautiful

In my most desolate cries
You whisper what I can be
Shining light through my
Dark heart, Trinity, with me
You are so beautiful

A ‘down’ day

So, I’m less than 100 metres from Church, sitting in All Bar One with my second large glass of wine…

Now, worshipping God is not at the forefront of my mind, it’s just the guilt that lingers. What’s really making me want to go? Love? Not sure I’m feeling that at the moment. Actually, I’m not feeling it at all…

I’m watching the big hand on the large clock swing round, and it’s nearing a quarter past.. I should leave very soon if I’m going to make the service…

I’ve been torn, really torn about my posting recently; taking where I’m working into consideration. But recently, especially since I didn’t pass my three month probation, and I’m on probation for another three months, I think I shall revert, and continue to be honest with myself (having taken all Facebook links etc down!!)

Two large glasses of wine… And I’m driving. I’m not sure what I think I’m doing, but I’m not ‘well’ today. I’m thinking of Jules

Lonely. How can you be lonely in a house full of people? I think it doesn’t help that, being at mum and dads for a while, I have to listen to constant negativity from their part… They walk backwards, constantly. They offer nothing to look forward to.. Except, the worst.

It’s a quarter past. I’ll go to church. Half cut. And see what God has to say to me.

I went to Vegas

I went to Vegas

Vegas weddings are not what I thought they’d be. The first thing everyone kept asking me when I said I was going to one was, “Is it in one of those chapels?” And, “will there be an Elvis?” And so…I expected to see an Elvis. I didn’t see one, the whole time I was there! (I feel a little robbed!)

But, much like I’d guessed, everything is OTT. I stayed at the Luxor, the only pyramid shaped hotel on the strip. It’s huge…with darkened windows that glisten black in the sunlight…and Obsidian at night. Its summit throws a shaft of light into the night sky that can be seen for miles…I saw it from the Stratosphere, although that’s just four miles apart.

I went to Venice, Paris, Luxor and New York, all were huge and over stated. And, once you get past the theme, they’re all the same; a hotel with a huge casino, places to eat and lots of bars! Although, there were a few that took my breath away.

I loved the Bellagio for the Chinese New Year Exhibit and cocktails at the Petrossian Lounge. The Mandalay Bay for Shark Reef and Mix Bar (and the wedding!), New York New York for the Roller Coaster. Oh, and Stratosphere for the rides…

Vegas: the atmosphere matched nicely with the state of my head. I won’t make excuses…I also won’t divulge – I’ll leave that to the textile bound pages by my bed (although you can probably guess, by the omittance) It’s a 24/7, unforgiving place. And I was secretly glad I’d been let down by another of the bride’s girlfriends, leaving me with a room of my own. I could retreat…if it got too much.

This might be me trying to justify my insane existence, especially since I proclaim to be a practising Christian. But I just want to let you know; whosoever should be reading my not-so-secret-thoughts, that I am human. (as was JC) and that I pray and pray every day. And…I don’t know whether, like I say, this is in my head (crikey..I’m getting more incoherent with honesty) but, a voice in my heart says, ‘one step at a time’.

For example…I didn’t buy wine on the way home this evening. And I’ve logged out of Second Life. I’m writing my poetry again, and endeavouring to be ‘honest’ in my blog. I think, Christian or no – whoever looks at me, reads me…should see me for who i am. Not sure why…just seems important.

Anyway – pics will explain the rest of Vegas. I want to go back and do the Grand Canyon.