Wednesday, 25 March 2009

An Ending

I finished my most recent placement last night. It was a moment I had been looking forward to for weeks, but when it came it was actually quite sad! I have been working in a group for adults who stammer. It's an evening session and a lot of what we ended up doing was developing counseling skills and group facilitation. There have been moments when I've realised what a privilege and responsibility I had, being a part of these people's lives, and other moments when I've been asked to do something that meant I had to immediately deal with issues I've been facing for years! So I've grown in both skills as a therapist and in myself as a person. But it was sad to say goodbye to the group as well- I want to come back, want to find out whether they do meet that target and how things will be different when they've understood what this is, or settled into the group. How will the group dynamics work out because the past few weeks have seen all kinds of change! Maybe I'm just a geek. Maybe I chose the right career after all!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ordinary Radicals

I wrote this in my journal on Monday but I quite like it so thought I would share.

Things that I see around me make me realise I need to change. The heavenly man, irresistible revolution and Danny Gough: all have challenged me this weekend.

  • The Heavenly Man: is quite literally a living sacrifice. He spent most of his younger life on the run from, or held captive by, the Chinese authorities. Even when he had escaped China and had a legitimate passport, he was arrested in an airport and spent time in the worst prison of all. Yet through everything he kept praising God. He could have kept quiet and got into less trouble without denying Jesus but he chose not to. His heart was so broken for the lost in prison that he spoke out, no matter what the consequences were.

    As it stands at the moment, I'm not willing to do that. I wish I could say that I was but I know that if I was given the opportunity to share the gospel at the cost of even one friendship, I would struggle so much.

  • The Irresistible Revolution: So far, this is a lot less extreme and covers a slightly different issue I guess, but it still requires\the complete surrender of a life. It's the issue of 'sell everything you have and give it to the poor.' How does that work out? How do you bridge the gap between the world's richest and the world's poorest? I want to decrease my 'ecological footprint' - how dare I take up so much earth that other people get none? To me life is precious, but to so many others it has become so cheap. Not from a lack of compassion but out of necessity, a survival mechanism.

    And yet here I am, in my nice semi-detached house with all my books and instruments and technology. I have a double bed to myself whilst whole families share a single, if they have a mattress at all. How do I respond?

  • Danny Gough: The real-life man in my house! My challenge is this: while I have complained about my all-Christian surroundings and tried to get out 'into the world' as often as I can, Danny has avoided worldly settings as far as possible yet his actions resulted in someone being saved yesterday! How's that for a challenge?! He was just desperate to share the Good News so he went to the bus stop to find some non-Christians, gave them some cups of tea and shared God's love. Now there's one more in the Kingdom of God and a few others on their way.

    May I never disregard a prompting to share the gospel with or pray for a stranger. I have nothing to lose in this country, but they have everything to gain.
A lot of people are doing a lot of amazing things, and I'm aware that I have used the busyness of my course this year as an excuse to live in my own little world and not reach out of it. But oh, how He loves me! Oh, how He loves my neighbours! My course mates! The homeless guy who sits outside the SU!

I am rich, I am rich in love. And I have been blessed with love so that when I see a need for love I can meet it. I have been blessed with grace so that when I see a need for grace, I can meet it. I have been blessed with forgiveness, I have been blessed with salvation.

Daddy, teach me to be an ordinary radical.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Revision time...

Revision time works one of two ways on these things. Either there are hundreds of posts in a desparate effort of procrastination, or there are none as all else is cut out except working, eating and sleeping. I've been veering towards the latter this year; with so much to do and minimal time to do it in, I began to wonder whether I should cut out eating and drinking time as well! Suffice to say there hasn't been much to post about save the ins and outs of stammering, effect of bilingualism on language development and the occasional breakdown.

On Wednesday we started the students group by soaking for a bit, then sharing what God had been speaking to us recently. A recurring theme was starting your day with God, something I did start doing on Monday really thinking about it. Kate shared Psalm 127:

1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.

In my own strength I'm not going anywhere, I don't stand a chance. But when I learn to accept the rest that God gives me, and when I seek to work only in his strength, then I will find that "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!" (Matt 19:26).

Incidentally, I'm going to Nepal in the summer! I'm so excited, I'm going out with three other girls who are graduating from my course and we're going to be working with a charity for children with cerebral palsy, setting up a speech and language service there. It's a bit daunting; we're going for three months minimum and I don't really know the girls I'm going with, but it is such an opportunity I can't miss it. This is exactly what I saw myself doing in the long-term; I was thinking India but they're close enough. Who knows what will come of it?! Eeek!