Yesterday evening… candles flickering, lively chatter, warm embrace of old friends. The scene? – The packed chapel at YWAM’s Harpenden headquarters. One by one our friends Joyce, Dave, Terri, Dan, Jeanette, Johnny, Heather and Osana stood up to testify about what God had been doing in their lives during the last five months. They were the latest YWAM multi-national Crossroads team and were graduating: testifying, receiving their certification and being commissioned for the months and years that lie ahead. A group of us went down from Coventry; earlier in the year they had helped us in ESOL classes, attended our international Bible study and we had bonded well. It was wonderful to see them again.
It’s been said that the longest journey is the distance from head to heart. Actually I think this is wrong, it’s quite a short distance; but the road only goes one way and it’s in the other direction. Christianity, our faith, is an exploration of the heart not the head. God is love, so how could it be anything else. The head can understand what the heart finds, and it can guide the search, but you just can’t make your heart believe what the mind thinks unless you really find it.
I love shopping, but if there’s one thing I dislike shopping for, it’s jeans! If you’re female and reading this, you will probably understand where I’m coming from. It is so hard to find the right fit/feel/length and material, at a good price. So when I discovered that my favourite jeans that I’ve pretty much lived in for the last two years had a big hole in them, I was devastated. I sent up a small prayer to heaven that God would give me some new ones and forgot all about it. A few days later someone randomly handed me a pair of Levi jeans which fitted me perfectly!
Recently, a few people who used to visit the Northampton Jesus Centre died. It caused me to reflect. Did we do all that we could have done? Did they experience the love of God through what we did for them? It reminds us how fragile some of our visitors’ lives are and how important it is that they are made to feel welcome and at home.
As Christians we are called to be holy (as God is holy), but we also know that we can never match up to God’s standard. We can never be holy in our own right, we can only be made holy by Him. This is another manifestation of the paradox at the heart of the gospel: we are to be like Jesus, to be perfect in love, but we can’t do it. Only He can!