Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Learning to Fight

At the end of my last post I prayed, show me Lord how to fight.

I meant it. As I tapped away at my keyboard last night, with every comma and alliterative device I was aware that I was putting my head above an enormous and intimidating parapet. For much as I talk of fighting, I have little energy, fewer ideas and not much will. I feel hypocritical and exposed.

However, as some of you will know, during my curacy I have lost almost six stone in weight. At the start of that journey too I had little idea of what I was doing and very little will power. But going public with my intention helped.

Keeping a record of what I was doing also helped.

And so in that spirit, here is a record of how I have learned to fight today.

It ran like this- for the first time in nine months I didn't have a communion at lunchtime to head off to after morning prayers. It freed up a two hour window where I had a choice. And for once I chose to get out from behind my desk and go and see people.

The fight was through a semi blizzard to visit someone involved in a very difficult lifestyle who wants to come back to church. As she hugged me in the corridor, looked beyond my eyes and told me Jesus loves me I think I somehow realised that this might be more of a dance than a fight.

On the way to her flat I had bumped into a pained but somehow resolute lady off to visit her very ill husband in hospital.

It was then sitting with someone who is down to their last 34p as they wait for the benefits they are promised to come through. I sat with them as they talked of an abusive partner, and listened as they talked of going to church because it helps.

Later I was on duty at our after schools homework club. One of our young people was concentrating incredibly hard on learning a new skill. It was a far cry from one of the first conversations I ever had with them- one where they wanted to check that there was nothing 'dirty' about watching porn. That was when they were nine. Their journey has been incredible.

For me the fight is close at hand. If I get out from my apple geek world of sending missives on email and walk out of the door I can engage in this dance instantly.

And then I tell. Because the fight can be distant.

I'm not telling to appear to be 'good'. I didn't do anything heroic today. I have received more than I have given. I am telling so that we can share together that this fight is real, and we can rejoice together that there are small victories for the Kingdom being won on a daily basis. I talked yesterday of fighting using simple acts of love- I think I want to edit that. Today I fought by simply getting out of the door.

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