They Tread Lightly

Holy Island's August crowds pass by for ice-cream. But some who tread the earth lightly knock on my door - A and B and C as I shall name them.

'Ant' travels the world in his van with his dog. We cared for him when he broke his leg ten years ago. He tells me he spent ten months in the north of Israel with Jews and Christians and Muslims. After he left us last decade he joined a church. 'I wanted to discuss things but the Vicar refused and said I was heretical' he tells me. He left the church and met some people who believed in 'Original Blessing': they did not write Ant off. Ant thinks deeply, reads widely, and senses authenticity. Pity about that church.

'Bruce' walked to the island from the Pennine Way. There was 'no room in the inn'. He dossed down in my patio room. He is in pioneer Christian ministry in an ethnically mixed area. The possibility of a 'village of God' evolving appeals to him. A village has a heart and a fringe. He thinks you could start with just two things. On the fringe you'll have a football club for Ghanaians. At the heart you'll have daily prayer. He went away to discuss with church authorities a possible project.

'Charis' bought my book 'Aidan of Lindisfarne: Irish Flame Warms a New World' when she trod lightly here some weeks back. Now she writes: 'Reading Aidan of Lindisfarne made me feel like I had extended my time of pilgrimage'. She encloses a Haiku.

'Doris' came to help at The Open Gate. She took her First Voyage of the Coracle, witnessed by eight other Voyagers. The ceremony ended with this prayer:

Disturb us Lord when we are too pleased with ourselves; when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little; when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, where storms will show your mastery. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope and love.

Posted at 08:40am on 9th August 2015
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