Monday, 6 February 2012

Just cross the room and say 'hello'...

A few of us went out last week for Chaplaincy, with the intent to gather promises from the bible which might give hope to those who are anxious at this time for our ongoing project which Glyn wrote about, below. We began to become aware that God might want to speak to us about fear, and sat in Marks and Spencer's cafe to listen to Him talk to us and to others. I watched Glyn naturally get into conversation with a woman at the table next to us and we were able to pray God's blessing over her and share with her a 'word of knowledge'... something God shows you that you couldn't know normally, in order to show people that He is real and loves them and wants to speak.

Meanwhile, a man at a table near us caught my attention. God does this sometimes - it's His way of compelling me to approach people when you get a glimpse of how raging and wide and generous His love is for them. I believe everyone has been made in His image and He simply longs to know His children, whether they accept Him or not. Sometimes people say to me that they think it's brave that I might cross a room in order to say hello to a stranger. Indeed, that was this man's opinion. But the way I see it is... the worse they can do is tell me to go away (in one form or another!). The alternative is even more awful... that I might have ignored the call to connect God with one of His precious kids. After all, the reason both Glyn and I are who we are today in faith is that someone came and did the same thing for each one of us.

So..... I approached this man because God had 'told' me that he had recently been bereaved and was lonely.   I didn't hear an audible voice, but just a 'sense' of knowing this fact as a reality, and I have learnt to trust these 'senses'. This man had been bereaved and hearing his story was incredible. Instead of being bitter and fearful about the future without his wife and best friend, he had spent time dealing with these feelings and was beginning to get involved in an active social life and felt positive that the rest of his retired life was in front of him. We chatted for some time and he asked me all about God and how He speaks to me. He concluded that I was very brave for approaching a stranger and that he had seen something of the goodness of God that day. I was way more touched and blessed than he was. What a privilege to hear the story of a fellow passenger in life, and to share such a precious moment and to have a conversation with someone who had more reason than me to fear death, but was utterly fearless and living a full life. Those amazing exchanges that God sets up totally outweigh the slight cringe- and risk-factor. So, if He prompts, go ahead, just cross the room, and say 'hello'.

New Living Translation 
"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Weighed down by worry - Lest We Forget

At the moment, we are looking to do a piece of art through our interactions with people on the chaplaincy. We are aware that as christians we bring our anxieties to God in prayer and the bible says many wondeful things about how God can remove them and also meet us in them. This is good news for people who are weighed down by worry and we want to share this good news.

So, we are collecting the feaers and worries of people we meet in Chester and making plaques with them. We will attach the plaques onto a memorial as a reminder that god can remove them and they can become a memory. The memorial is a celebration of what God can do - a few examples.

'Take heart, I have I vercome the world' (John)
'Cast your anxieties in me' (Peter)