So much has happened lately that I feel I’ve dived underwater and am waiting now to resurface. Trouble is, I seem to have grown accustomed to life below – a nagging sense that I’m growing webbed feet.
And the whole time there has been silence on here. I’ve scribbled words, thoughts and observations down in my battered black notebook that have followed me around.
But I never felt brave enough – or able – to join the dots and tell the different stories. And I feel poorer for it.
I’ve learned that this is how I make sense of what’s happened and see the colours brought out of the picture. I am an extrovert but talking about experiences doesn’t truly enable me to see like writing does.
Lived without writing, life is a series of slides stacked one after the other. Lyrics, soundtrack, shading only come when they are taken in love and told as stories. This is how I feel alive, and I shouldn’t forget it.
Because when we offer You what we have in the way you have created us to – be it dance words songs physical exertion – You never fail to breathe life into it:
“You are loose in me,
a wind among papers,
a fire in dead leaves.” (Peregrine)
So I’m sorry, for not giving expression to all the things You’ve done. You are gracious and forgive my head burying and mindless peering through the glass of people’s Facebook lives on the heavy eyed morning commute – so much easier than actually examining my own.
Since last time we’ve been to Burundi to build on the family that exists with our sister church and I was wowed by the sense of walking in heritage. The years of prayer and faith which have formed the foundation for that beautiful community and our relationship with them.
We learned broken up words and a song Kirundi and met a true Eshet Chayil as we listened to her story of a life in the margins, of abuse, of courage, of overcoming and of Love.
We prayed, laughed hard, pressed in where we were empty and were truly humbled.
Burundi is beautiful. Simon Guillebaud tweeted this week that the haze finally cleared and the Congolese mountains were visible, hugging the shoreline of Tanganyika. How I wished I could see.
But undoubtedly it was the people who will remain in our hearts – people who will continue weaving in and out of our memories, stories and prayers for ever I hope. Ruth’s words bring to life all of this and more better than mine could.
Earth is crammed with heaven – and we tasted an open heaven, reminding us of who we are and where Home really is. Which makes life this side so much more fun – and helps us be that bit braver.
Since then, I’ve been to hospital and You quite literally protected my life and the lives of my friends in London and Burundi. I’ve preached my second sermon and felt You write Your words of relentless, prodigal love on my heart. You opened a door for a new beginning as I resigned last week.
But that’s another story…