I’ve Seen Fire And I’ve Seen Rain, But I Never Thought I’d See You Again

Seems appropriate to come home to blogging from an out of world experience..Last night I went to Mt Albert Baptist Church, to be part of the 90th birthday celebration, but also to hang out with Stu. It was a challenging experience to go back to a place that feels so familiar but I feel so strange within. What I remember of myself in that place is a stranger now. A girl who used to live inside this skin. I don’t know if I like myself better now or what, or if it was never a good fit and that’s why I was someone else.. or if as Donkey says, we’re like onions, and as we go through life we peel the layers off.

It was good to hear Mark Pierson (see the sidebar) speaking, especially about the future of the church, especially in the context we were in last night. People who were old and faithful are still there, and there are younger, newer faces there as well. I liked what he had to say about the future of the church not being found in more attraction in our attractionally-based ministries, and not in the Emerging Church either, but in asking the right questions and doing the time to get to the right answers.

Some of his questions were delightfully simple but the kind of questions that only have complex answers. Who are we? What is the best way to help these people sustain their faith in the world? The placement of the ‘in’ is important. It was just nice and refreshing. But the context made me uncomfortable.

Discomfort leads you to strange things. I found it really hard to go to MABC not looking fab… eing freshly showered, hair done, make-up perfect, wardrobe black.

The Weekend
I was going to go to the markets on Saturday morning, but a phonecall with Mum late friday afternoon changed that, and I headed up north on Friday night. It was a good drive listening to some good cd’s and having a little connecting time, both with myself and with God. There are a lot of things right under the surface for me at the moment. Deep things. Things that I can’t put words too, and maybe it’s my lack of ability to do that that’s led to a quiet patch here.

So .. driving through Tikipunga I saw the slim lines of the Volvo in the distance and ending up driving through to Ngunguru behind Mum & Pete. They had dinner with my sister’s boyfriend & parents.. Nice nice. Waking up in the morning with the sea so close and the view so exquisite was rest for a weary soul.

We spent much of the day at the new place, sanding and painting and setting furniture around. It’s a gorgeous place with lots of character. I enjoyed working on it for the weekend with Mum & Pete. But I did end up covered in dust and sweat and paintmarks for my trip to MABC… hence the pride issue.

Maybe it’s my own fault, the hermit-like existence that it seems like I’ve stumbled into.. Sometimes the light feels too bright.. I can stay focussed on the right things and the good things, so long as able to stay close enough to Truth.. to the words and books that lead me back to an intimate understanding, sense and desire for moving through this Valley and up into the High Places.

For the second or third week in a row, I’ve had minimal contact with ‘friends’. What are friends anyway? How do you define it, or put a measure on what it feels like to be connected? I feel static and it seems like everyone else is moving on around me. And then sometimes I feel as if I’m the one moving further and further away. It’s an implicit deep silence where once again.. I feel an absence of arms reaching towards me.

Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell
The Out Of Bounds Church – Steve Taylor
Captivating – John & Stasi Eldredge
The Journey of Desire – John Eldredge
Hosea – The Bible
Isaiah 42 – 62 – The Bible

Great Heart of my heart
Search the depths of my soul
and see that You inhabit every part
each inch of skin and breath
lives only in the presence of Your
Great Love