Pit stop - Jesus Army Life

I got home tired but happy, we'd used the evening to support a church group 50 miles away, and then I found the door had been broken...

Peugeot 504 Coupe Originally uploaded by 96dpi

Something inside me flipped. Why would people do that to our home? Don't they care at all? It turned out it was an accident but I was fuming. Then, the friend I'd pointedly asked about the door turned on me - I wasn't willing to see any good in our visitors, I was just blaming people - he had a point. We argued and we finally calmed down.

Except I wasn't calm, I was still furious. It was a long time before I went to sleep that night.

Why had I become so angry?

A couple of nights later another friend and I popped in on some old mates of mine. I used to hang out with them, they used to get up to all sorts (they still do), but my friend was able to see that there was something good in these lads - a spark of God, if only it could be ignited.

I felt the same, but still part of me was jaded. What could Jesus do in these guys that he hadn't already done? A battle churned inside me as I struggled between a longing for God to impact these men's lives and the thought that it could never happen; there was too much in the way: so much drugs, women, life-drudgery.

But, this is not a story of how Jesus has turned lives around (though I know the cause of Jesus is so much more exciting than any of those things could be) it's a story of God shaping me.

Coming away from that moment, I reflected how I love to be in the place where I'm meeting people, being a connection for them to church, to hope, to the possibility of life-change and of love, to a brighter future. And I also felt how worn out I was by trying to achieve this in too many places.

The unexplained anger is still there, it boils inside of me. Is it that I can't be that channel of life I once was? Am I too stretched? Am I angry with my God? And yet, until God says different, this is how it's got to be - I can't turn back from starting something where there's an open door to build, I have to continue.

And I haven't reached the end of the story yet. I don't know if this story will have an ending. But I sense I'm being reminded of the need to see the Jesus-seed in every person: the possibility that their life can flourish with hope (that I definitely shouldn't blame them) and that this is more important than how tired I might be feeling, and that this might also be the source of the calm I need.