For the next two weeks, I will work across some ministries in the city whose focus is the homeless and the marginalised. Last night on my way back from church, I had words with Jesus and I was not praying those polite, British, Anglican prayers that I sometimes have a habit of praying. I was actually simply telling him that I am really pretty scared. I was lamenting a little bit, reminding him that I am only little: 5 foot 2, and really rather naive. I was telling him that I was expecting him to fulfil his promises to me, show me what I need to see and lead me, minister through me and keep me safe. I was reminding him that I need to change, yes, but also there is a certain continuity to be preserved too. In amongst all these missions, auditing the streets for the homeless until the early hours, and visiting different outreach programmes, I still need energy left over for my children and my husband. I am asking him that I might return home not too full of words describing my experiences but with listening ears to hear how the day has gone for my husband and family who have been getting on with the ordinary everyday things of life, without me.
I am not particularly proud of my fear. I am setting my agenda and needs before Jesus, asking that he might have me transfer back into family life after the intensity of the days that I will be having without too much trouble. I ask anyway because he loves me in my weakness.
It feels like this is the real stuff now. So I can exegete the Bible and put a service of common worship together and all of that honours God but this has a different feel about it. I am interested in the differences and the similarities between ministries of proclamation and teaching and discipling the Christian community and those ministries of reaching out, social mission, acts of kindness and intervention covered in prayer without any specific explanation of the reason for the hope within that leads to these actions.
I hope to write a thesis pulling on wisdom and the psalms - what has God got to say about the condition of the human heart and about our joys and laments?
I hope to engage with missiology and contextual theology, how do we do God in practical ways?
How do we accommodate ourselves to the context we find ourselves in and challenge it at the same time?
Expect busy blogging over the next two weeks as I pull out some of these themes. Be aware that a lot of what I write will be in the wake of some very real emotions. Please feel free to challenge my thinking so that I might grow.