One More Cup Of Coffee Before We Go

I love stories that weave the lives and thoughts of different people together into intersecting pathways of influence and joy. I especially love it when I’m in the story, and not just hearing the story. Usually there are moments in these stories that are more akin to movie scripts and sitcoms. Moments that are just life in all it’s fullness, and God’s serendipitous creativity in full swing. So today, I was a thread woven into a cloth that features Stu, Marko and Sam.

Back when Marko was planning his trip here, he introduced us by way of email, and Stu was already raving and ranting about Sam. That was in October last year. Then earlier this year, while Sam was up visiting Aucklanders.. I had lunch with Sam and Dave Wells, then Stu joined the party. Later than same day I think, Sam spoke at Stu’s youth group. Since then, for me there’s been a sense of a circle somehow connecting it all – and today, finally, after a long time we finally sat down at coffee uninterrupted and I discovered a desperately needed, healing and invigorating conversation.

“Sometime we should definitely have that coffee and conversation.”
It was so refreshing, mostly to have an enormous sense of ‘safety’ in that conversation – no danger of being misconstrued, there was plenty of space to say what I meant, or to explain myself properly. Talking about the balance of tensions between the Justice orientation of the Gospel and the role that worship and intimacy with Christ plays in our lives. Talking about the mirth and burden of carrying giftedness and humility in the same frail human shell. Wondering about answers to questions that will always remain answerless, but knowing that there’s freedom in wrestling with the unknown. Talked about finishing at Windsor in my paid role, and the transition, the wondering about new directions.

Sometimes you need the coffee and conversation from unexpected places, to remind who you are, when you’re not in the immediate context of your sorrow, or immersed entirely in the struggle. For me, this morning was a breath of sorely needed air, to a weary soul and lilting sail. We have similar mindsets, and different challenges, but there’s a certain sense of design and art in the weaving of these threads together at this point in time.

So, thanks Stu and Marko. Great weaving – it was a net to catch me this morning, completely unintentionally I’m sure. But that makes it all the more beautiful.

Song of the Moment : City Lights
by Blindside

I took a walk down 4th avenue when i saw it
A red line in the concrete
Leading somewhere out of sight
Something compelled me to stop
So i jumped over the fence
Started following from what appeared to be
The trail of a leaking tin can
Leading into the alley away from the light

Now this is what needs to be done
Blacklight shining in the dark
Brings out brightness more than in the sun
Do i dare to stay
Cause somehow i want to

Trade love for the city lights
You chose me to stay
Trade light for the city love
You chose me to stay

So now what if i continue this walk
The red line is taking me down trashcans lonely street
Yes the streets have neames but the people don’t
Or are they forgotten
And i’m starting to smell something beautiful
Though these streets are rotten

Trade love for the city lights
You chose me to stay
Trade light for the city love
You chose me to stay

The City Lights
Having spent time with another Wellingtonian today, it gave me a fresh glimpse of the city, the beauitful city that I live in. With so many people I know being about the business of planting churches these days.. It’s struck me that there is usually a passion for a place and a people alongside these initiatives.

I think that one of the things Auckland BYM has struggled with for a long time is a lack of leadership that’s committed to the passion, light, beauty and possibility that is found in the streets of this city. The enormous swell of city life, culture, immigrant influence, student and business empire that fairly bursts onto the borders of suburbia in quasi-city fringe villages like Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Parnell, Mt Eden and Kingsland creates a magnificent palette of colour and texture to work with.

I see all that is beautiful and ugly in this place and it makes me think of this track… And i’m starting to smell something beautiful / Though these streets are rotten / Trade love for the city lights / You chose me to stay / Trade light for the city love / You chose me to stay…

In all the wondering of where to next, and to whom and who will be my people? .. this remains: my city is a city unloved but in my heart she is no longer desolate.. I’ve give anything to see her restored and being all she could be. Hmmm. Such is the life of a passionate city-lover. I’m a rare breed, that I could love Auckland so. But I do.

Another Cup Of Coffee For The Road
Dani rang me out of the blue on Friday and it was just perfect to blather on about everthing that’s been happening, and everything that’s going on over the other side of the Tasman… you bring light and joy and a sense of balance and love to my world. You are just divine, thank you for picking up the phone (even though you hate it) and dialling me up. It made a huge difference.

More Coffee and Conversation
I love the way our city is still small enough that you can run into someone you know and change your plans on the spur of the moment. The other week I was headed to a bookstore in my favourite village, to buy a new book and sit in one of my favourite cafes to thoroughly enjoy some quiet time for some fresh inspiration. Straight after parking, I walked around the corner and into another good friend. So we walked and talked up to the bookshop, where my book was not in stock, and down again to the dairy and back to the cafe. And instead of reading my way through someone else’s story and finding fresh inspiration in someone else’s words… I found it in the conversation that unfolded quite unexpectedly in front of me. Sometimes you just need the coffee and the conversation and things make much more sense.

Love, be satisfied that even
in silence, my heart cries out your name
(cripples me breathless)
in wonder of such brief syllables that make
such a weight. my tongue is thick on the
consonants (and takes flight in the vowels).

I know your name and the warmth that
springs up in my belly on it; whispered and dreamt
even in prayer is your name like sweetness
(on my tongue). I would wear you; like a garment
to be known by you, as you, like you (as your own).

My love is like a portrait of your name
in all richness (and freedom). Your name is the
sound of Love entering earth (and the heart being born)
and all at once becoming all (the beloved).