15.7.05

Farewells

Last night at White Stone we had over 30 people for dinner. There was a mixture of family, friends and the usual gathering of 'goths' who seem to have made our place their second home. We spread out into the garden and the 'youngsters' (the cheesy name we prefer to use for them) provided much of the entertainment for the night, including human pyramids, bonfires and other raucous behaviour.

The bonfire was a result of our own resident 'youngster' choosing to burn some of his old possessions, including a tobacco pouch and some Warhammer books. As a Christian he had been challenged by a friend to get rid of the things of his 'old life'. It was a good and probably important gesture, though another friend found the whole idea too much. "That's why I'm not a Christian because it makes you do things like that," he announced. Obviously he hated to see things he valued go up in smoke, but a little challenge to the soul is never a bad thing. That young friend knows he's going to have to count the cost when he finally does cross the line.

But there was challenge for the young disciple too: to meditate on the bible phrase to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). It's all too easy to destroy our lives in the name of Jesus, far harder to build a habit of giving your whole self willingly for the purpose of loving others.

We had some late night entertainment too, a blues jamming session with guitars played by a student friend and a resident brother plus saxophone played by me. It was a fitting way to say goodbye to that particular friend who was returning to Singapore after graduating from Warwick Uni. He had stayed with us the previous summer and this experience, plus the devouring of Keith Green's autobiography: No Compromise, has given him a thirst to establish Christian Community when he finally stops roaming the planet. My only fear is that it might be a little too late by then... Nonetheless he's a great guy, bound to do much for Jesus' Church. You can keep up with his travels on his own blog.

Earlier in the evening I'd helped another friend move some furniture. I met his brother who was less of a recluse then I'd been led to imagine. There was so much in me that wanted to steal that chance meeting as an opportunity for the gospel but politeness and limited time got the better of me. I'm challenging myself to share my faith with others as much as possible. It's far too easy to relax. I want others to know Jesus and I want to see this family, my family, grow.