Be Present

I am always blazing new trails, but I sense God saying ‘Remain present to those on recent trails, and be present to those who are preparing future trails’. So I share with some church leaders the thoughts about indigenous ways of relating from my ‘Future Routes’ address to our annual gathering. A Norway bishop responds ‘I follow you along your ways of connecting also to our Sami tradition, or Brazilian Indian or Canadian Indians threatened by Norwegian oil companies.’

I converse by phone with an Australian church minister steeped in a Cornish heritage network as to how he might learn from ancient Celtic Christians how to relate to Aboriginal and immigrant Australians today by making imaginative leaps into their skins.

I reply by hand to a letter from Gwen, who wrote ‘I’ve been greatly blessed and challenged through reading your book on Hilda…. I sensed the Lord speaking to me, personally, and felt a longing that the church today should send out such labourers into our needy world.’

This way of relating is rooted in the Trinity. Which is why I sent this #praycelticdaily tweet: God of the Communing Loves, save us from communicating without communing.

My prophetic new Dutch friend had Bible verses for me about recalling past days shaped by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63). I arrive at the church I helped to plant a generation back at Bowthorpe, Norwich. The minister, Mark and his team have set up a time line in the church. On this people mark God events from the past, the present, and future directions. I visit the amazing Heritage Gardens and the God-guided Community Workshops before spending time with Mark and accompanying him to the fete of Saint Michael's School, which we founded thirty years ago. How privileged I am to be welcomed to what feels like home. A secret key to all this is that my sister Sally remains here, having learned what it means to 'be present' to a place.

Posted at 23:59pm on 2nd July 2014
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