It's Thursday night. I have experienced a lot of emotions in the past seven days, some tears, some joy and a very tangible sense of God's presence. It's actually been quite a week and, as usual, there's a lot I can't go into detail on.
In the past seven days I have worked my usual 0.7 of a week but also submitted two assignments to college. I'm always writing assignments right up to hand-in day, so last night was a 2am job as I really had to fulfill my job requirements during the day and then go to the business meeting at night. I'm not at work Mondays and Fridays usually but that's all gone out the window this term as I am working on a final practical theology placement till end-April.
I've been very sad this week at the death of an amazing Christian woman who would do anything for the love of children. She would really would do ANYTHING for you; and supported me in untold ways; phoning every Monday for prayer requests, helping look after babies for daytime alpha, ready to lend a hand to vulnerable mums I came into contact with. She'd babysit for folk I referred to her from the community who were under real stress and we prayed together for a number of them. Although she had been ill, her death came very quickly. Yet today at the funeral there was a real sense of the triumph of God; that death really has been overcome!
I was very touched at the number of young mums who came from our toddler group; who do not attend church but who wanted to pay their respects to a lovely woman who knew what it was to stick close to Jesus.
So that was today. I'm very grateful to the pastor who I sat next to at a meeting yesterday who naughtily kept me chuckling throughout the event we were attending. Respectful chuckling of course. He wouldn't have known how apt his comic interventions were .....waters of refreshing!!
I don't think he reads blogs but just in case
- this picture is for you ----->
The last two weeks have also been marked by a quite unusual sense of God's presence. As already hinted at in another post, God has been tangibly very near. I do tend towards the touchy-feely rather than the analytical "let-me-think...?-is-this-really-God" kind of approach but believe me, I've been in this game long enough to never live by my feelings (I feel a Nicky Gumbel moment coming along - faith, fact and feelings are walking along a wall. Who follows who?)
But I really enjoy feeling my Father's love and I never want to stop feeling that.
And if I don't feel it, I still know it to be true. I love him so much and am eternally grateful for all he has done for me. I've been waking up feeling so loved ...and humbled....I was at another event this week which started off with a prayer reminding us that we are miserable sinners. It was all I could do to not jump up and down crying out "I'm a child of God, made for the King!"
So I've been sad for and with friends this week, I've mourned and laughed, I've prayed my socks off over some issues this week, I've worked hard and now intend to rest; but I know God is very present.
Last year's atonement theory class was best summed up for a lot of us by this great quote from Karl Barth, when asked to sum up his theology, replied: "...Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so"
Yaahhooooo - a great theologian speaking at a child's level! Bring it on!