Thursday, 29 September 2011

These Streets

Today, I feel quite saturated. I’ve just come home from visiting 40 children who come to kidz klub, plus their parents, older siblings, younger siblings, friends, friends’ parents, etc… I’ve met a lot of people tonight. I’ve walked a lot of streets. But it’s not a one-off; I rode these streets on a bus on Saturday, collecting and returning children. I was there again on Monday visiting older siblings. Yesterday I spent the evening with those siblings just down the road. On Saturday I’ll see them and the cycle will begin all over again.

I enjoyed today. This bizarre Indian summer weather meant that people were outside, they were happy, and leant a feeling of hope to the beginning of term. I enjoyed playing with children and chatting with parents. I loved meeting new people who were positive about kidz klub. Everything went well and I came home satisfied and happy. Is that why I feel I own these streets tonight, because I’m happy on them? What about when summer fades? When it’s wet and windy, or when someone breaks into the car, or takes issue with something that happened on Saturday? Will I still own these streets then? How deep does my compassion run?

I’ve been thinking recently about where I live, and why I’m here. I am part of a group of people who have all been drawn to this place, to this geographical location for a purpose. There are as many different purposes as there are people in the group. But what is my purpose? Why did I choose to move to this run-down part of town that used to be beautiful, in a crumbling house, with neighbours from every walk of life but my own? The story is a long one that runs far back, but ultimately my purpose is this: to love broken people.

Broken people aren’t always nice. They aren’t always happy to see a person of light. They don’t always feel positive and friendly. I am a broken person, I should know. But in my brokenness I have found a hope and a love that comes from beyond me. I may be afflicted in every way, but I am not crushed; I may be perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but never destroyed. My brokenness has been and is being healed by love.

May the saturation continue, in good times and bad. May I continue to look beyond what my eyes can see to the world just beyond this one. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I sprinkled a couple of bible references from 1 Corinthians 4 in there- can you find them? I’ve got lots more to say about them in a blog I’ve been meaning to write for a couple of weeks, so watch this space for the details.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Perfect Afternoon

I was lost in an old world, revisiting times gone by in a book about the Message Trust, a quality bunch of people who shaped my teenage years and are probably responsible for the place in which I find myself today.

"Beep-beep, beep-beep"

A text message brought me back to the present day. Relaxed on my bed, an autumn sun was streaming through the window. Colbie Caillat was playing bubbly, hopeful music. The name on the text made me smile. Today, life is good.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

What's in a name?

I have spent this morning exploring the meaning of my name. I was inspired to find it out after reading this devotion about identity. It's all about the meaning of my brother's name, so I thought I would have a look into my own!

It seems odd that at the age of 24 I've never really done this before. The trouble is that on the surface Rebecca (or Rebekah) seems to have a fairly unpleasant meaning. I've looked at the character in the Bible but tended to steer clear of the actual meaning of the word. However a couple of years ago a friend of mine came out with this amazing interpretation that actually made it sound quite nice! I wish I could remember how he put it. But it inspired me today to seek out that side- it has to be out there somewhere!

There are two short, sharp, no-frills interpretations of the Hebrew for "Rebekah". The first is "ensnarer" (I had known it before as "bound"), and the second is "fat, fattened; a quarrel appeased". My name means "fattened"! There are people who have tried to do this to me(!) so maybe it was prophetic after all. Jokes.

Once I got over the fat bit, I guess "a quarrel appeased" is a pretty good meaning! It's all about bringing peace and bringing people together. I do have a knack for bringing people from different circles into the same room, and I'm not one for arguing. I'll take that.

The alternative interpretation of "ensnarer" is captivating. I will leave it to others to decide whether that is true or not. Another lovely little article suggests the word "secured" which I think I like best. It also says this:
Within this name lies the notion that individuals are placed together by something higher or smarter than they.
I like that notion.

Rebecca. Peacemaker. Secured. Fattened. It has a certain ring to it...