18.7.05

Happiness

Yesterday we stopped at a different Jesus Army house in Coventry, known as Bright Flame. The place has always had a sense of peace about it. It's not just the breeze that blows from one end of the lounge to the other on a warm summer's day, there is almost a mystical quality to it. You walk in and immediately you feel a sense of calm.

After the morning meeting the afternoon was spent relaxing and laughing with several brothers, half of whom were Iranian. I think the sense of strong brotherhood and loving acceptance appeals to our Farsi brethren. Bright Flame also do great puddings! But it's quite something when the mood of a place makes you want to stay for the whole afternoon, chocolate cake aside!

I forgot to mention that in the morning White Stone had a house 'family breakfast' together. It's a time set aside for resident members to discuss issues and share together. I can't speak for others but personally I always enjoy these times. For others the idea of an early morning meeting may prejudice their view a little. We spoke about practical matters such as building work and the washing up dilemma ("He who does the washing up builds the church!") and then we shared on a question of spiritual bias. It was a good question and went something like this: Which of the following areas do you find easiest and which do you need to improve at? The options were:

Mystic (prayer, contemplation)
Activist (serving, evangelising)
Charismatic (spiritual giftings)
Evangelical (bible study)

It was emphasised that each of these had dangerous extremes but that they were all useful to the man of God. I put myself down as an Activist, needing to gain ground in my Charismatic life.

In the evening, after a walk with a good friend, discussing the current pressures we feel, I went out to invite people to church and ended up spending a long time speaking to a homeless guy. We've known each other for a few months and he's currently in a hostel having just got out of prison. There's something I like about him, despite his ability to talk non-stop; perhaps it's just that he will not give up fighting for survival. He asked if I had any shoes I could lend him, we are a similar size so I should be able to find him some. Later that evening I had real cause to worship as I chatted to another friend who used to be homeless. She told me how she had been off the drugs for several months and was housed and preparing to go to college. We had first met about four years ago when the Jesus Centre started, she was a 'working girl' (a prostitute) and it blessed me completely to know she was sorting herself out now.

The end of the evening was spent with the goths who like to come round. They are as good a laugh as ever, but have an annoying habit of reminding you of your age! I very much appreciate the sacrifice of the brothers and sisters in the house who sacrifice their time in giving the younger ones lifts home or doing the inevitable masses of washing up after times like these.