Transit head off to Reading for the weekend, having finished schools work on the friday we jet off in the Robb and Sally automobile machine with the assistance of the SatNav (no comment needed other than ridiculous). We're going to stay with Charl, one of the Transits of last year, to see how she's doing post transit, to question her about transit, basically grab some mutual support and see the world of Reading where 24/7 kicked off nearly 10 years ago now. We got there a bit later than expected (thanks SatNav) but arrived to a prayer meeting, about 15 people from about 18 to 40 in age, passionate about God, another beautiful scene, some worship time, some prayer time, some communion time, but not with just any bread may I add, some fancy white/brown bread with seeds in, chewy and everything, I think it did the same job though even if it had lots of bits in it. Bread ... Wine ... Vision ... Passion ... Jesus. I can't describe anything more beautiful than relationship with Jesus in these places, to see people in love, to see people truly alive. To be part of such a prayer meeting was a blessing in itself. Following the meeting, we finished off the communion wine in a respectful manner complimented only by a multitude of Greys Anatomy season 4 and simply enjoyed being together. Saturday was lovely, a nice lie in and a cooked breakfast with a latte, (James Butler you rock my world!) then a quick trek into Reading to see the sites and Hotel Chocolate. We bought some red paper in preperation for the evenings adventure, inspired by the lovely Charl who has such a heart and vision for an estate in her local community.
Picture this scene.
A council estate. Pretty bleak, intimidating, especially at night, the atmosphere, soaked in its painful memories of things gone down, of the rough stuff, the 'unspoken' stuff. Its busy, its populated. Happy people ... Sad people ... Busy people ... Bored people. But people all the same. How easy it is to walk into somewhere thats that bit out of your comfort zone and out comes the judgement. But we've boxed that away, left that at the entrance, we're here in Jesus name, he doesn't come to condemn, he loves, we're in this estate to give some love.
We all gather in the local community christian cafe, wrapped up warm with hats, gloves, scarves and caffeine and we pray. We pray God will bless this community, we pray we could be salt and light, we pray that God will follow our steps, that we'll be a presence here tonight, a softer presence, a gentle presence, a Jesus presence. Humbly we pray over some pound shop paper cut out hearts, a small token - but with potentially immeasurable effects. We pray they'll touch hearts, they'll be a spot of hope in the darkness, a spot of Holy Spirit conviction, a touch of divine warmth for this estate. Utterings of Jesus continue, and it's time to mobilize.
We're all obviously a bit apprehensive, internally each one reminding themselves they are here in Jesus name and they are safe, we set off. It's dark, it's quiet and we pray walk. The double sided sticky tape is at the ready (troublesome as it is) and we stick these simple hearts all over this estate, on wheelie bins, on walls, on children's slides, on fences, on salt bins ... anything we feel lead to.
I don't know the effect it had. I don't know if anyone even saw a love heart. I do know that God can use anything though, I know he desires to lavish his love on people, I do know he won't waste an opportunity ... and I do know, they were still there the next day. The hearts weren't in your face. They weren't hidden. They're just there. Like us, not in your face, not hidden, just there. That's all that matters eh? Ready and available.
Seedy bread, wine and love hearts. A weekend to remember.