The last few days in WS have been quiet. Virtually no one has been in. As I prayed before going out today I decided that I would pray as I walked and ask God to bless anyone who made eye contact with me. Today the old crowd were there and as people entered I prayed that God would bless each person. I normally pray, but today I prayed with specifics and decided to step out of my security cage and put myself in the midst of where people would be if they came in.
My way of working in the past has been waiting to be invited. This morning as I prayed in the cathedral I came to a realisation that I have been invited to sit in this area numerous times and that it is unnatural to keep waiting for another invite. I had been invited and now this was a space I could feel free to sit in. In fact, to not sit there could now give the impression that I did not value the people that are there.
Yesterday was an interesting time in WS.
I have now been going for nearly a year. All through that time there has been one guy who looks through me and, if I am honest, scares the sh** out of me because he is large, loud, abusive and I pretty much reckon he could flatten anyone who crosses his path. I constantly remind myself that he is created in the image of God like everyone else, although he may well choose to disagree.
Yesterday this guy, who banters with lots of people, shouted to me from across the bar ‘I want to join your ****ing church! I want to join your church cos you are always ****ing here!’ he then went on to make a joke that I had a recording of me in the confessional and when I left I just restarted the tape recorder – which was pretty funny.
I say this was an amazing day because this is a new start, the start of a new direction in my interaction with this man. We may not communicate again for a few more months as he may decide to look through me again; he may chose never to speak to me again, but this was the start of something different in hoe he views me being there, and possibly in how he views the church and maybe even how he views God if God is a possibility in his mind. Being shouted at and being able to enter into some banter is a step on the road to being accepted by this guy.
I left the cathedral this morning asking God to show me new stuff and lead me. I never have expectations of what to do – by that I mean I am not going out to try and convert people, or preach to people, or answer questions or even to look for oppotunities to share my faith- but simply I go out to look to see where God’s Kingdom is leaking into our world and how God is stirring people that he knows far more than I do, and loves far more than I will ever be able to.
There really is nothing else I can do – apart from ensure I don’t sneak back into the illusionary cage of freedom.