Sunday, 22 April 2018

Pressing In

Sitting on the left middle of the small hall that Centre Church meets every Sunday, the thought crossed my mind of how God protected me on Friday night when I walked into the shadow of death looking for a lost dog.

What I didn't mentioned in the post the next morning was that when walking into the gorge in the fading light knowing too well that part of the path had been washed away, we met who I took to be a pilgrim wearing a camo shirt, not thinking anything untoward about it, we asked him if he had seen a dog which we described to him, he said "no", so we walked deeper into the abyss to continue our search.

On our way out it got so dark quite quickly and only by the gaps in the foliage could I make out the path. Thankfully I have been down here so often now that I knew the way but at night things look different, very different. Anyways the memory of that evening which somehow escaped me when I first accounted it in my blog and now sitting in church pressing in at thin place towards God, it came flooding back.

That pilgrim wearing the camo, we met again on the way out, in the low light I saw that his camo shirt was open and that he was holding a machete that was resting on his shoulder. He asked us if we found the missing dog, which we answered "no". I then asked him if he was staying the night to find God, as that is why most pilgrims come down into this abyss or now I think about it to communicate with their long dead ancestors. The camo pilgrim answered "yes" and added that he did not have a job and was there to seek guidance. As we parted, I said "good luck", and patted him on the shoulder blade. I remember seeing him flinch at me touching him and only now see how dangerous the situation was but God was present even in the moment. I must have been surrounded by angels that evening because excuse the pun not a hair on my head was harmed.

I started to think about the story, an old friend of mine told me, Gavin and Geradine along with their family have long immigrated to Brisbane, and I am not sure I will every see them again, but who knows what God has planned. Many years ago during the Rhodesian War, some terrorists had attacked a mission station outside Umtali, now known as the Elim Mission Massacre. After the massacre Gavin and someone else I am not sure if it was Dine as my memory is starting fade, anyways they decided to drive up to the mission station from Umtali in his Datsun Y120. They left the car on the sports field still running, as they never knew if the terrorists were still around and walked up to the mission. Before they got there, the hooter on the car started blowing, fearing that maybe baboons had got to the car and started messing around, they rushed back. There was no baboons at the car but now the entire area would be alerted to their presence so they quickly left. The story goes that as they drove back down towards Umtali, they noticed that the grass on either side of there car was being flattened as if someone was walking in the tall grass either side of them. To this day they believe that angels were walking alone side of them, protecting them. Just as I now believe that there must have been angels right next to me, when I boldly walked into that abyss last Friday night.

Anyways back to today, here I am at that thin place, pressing in, thanking God for his faithfulness, and then Jon starts handing out chocolate to the congregation. Yip you should have been there, no Turkish Delight, but large bars of Kitkat. And to add to it, the small print on his t-shirt read "Don't believe everything you think". Yes God works in strange ways, but He faithful, as my quiet time reading this morning which is from Joel stated "I am sending you grain, new wine, and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully" and let me add here chocolate too.

The thin place is from my ancestors, the Celts, where heaven and earth are so close that the veil that separates the 2 is nearly transparent, and here I am pressing into the thin place as I try to get even closer to my God because just being in His presence in this stormy time is reassuring, oh so reassuring. Oh it is more about just being a Christian, it is the tasting and living every day knowing that God as Jon was illustrating with the chocolate. Yes my God is faithful. He is holding me in the palm of His hand, protecting me as I drink my fill from the living waters.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. I know that sometimes I must sound crazy, but that is me, love me or leave. Anyways you are most welcome to comment below.

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