We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to about 15 people on Wednesday! They all came up to the front of the hall (in fact I was one of them) and the community sang an extended round of the Happy Birthday song with everyone named by name. it had been more than a couple of months since we had all met together in the hall for community tea, so there were lots of birthdays and things to celebrate! It was nice to be together for no other reason than to share a meal and celebrate our shared life.
Looking round the hall I was reminded of what a special place this is. Old and young, weak and strong – and lets face it, we all have our weak days and our strong days – each called to be here, part of this peculiar family, making their unique contribution to its community. i am so grateful to be part of this band of pilgrims! The last couple of years have knocked the stuffing out of many of us, and each one is on our own unique journey of recovery and rediscovering God’s heart again. This means that living together isn’t always straight forward, but there was a call, a hope, a dream for each of us that brought us here, and it helps us hang on – even when we lose sight of it. So each day there is so much to celebrate as each one does the very best they can with the resources that they have in each moment; a smile, a kind word, just simply turning up for work, or having the humility to admit our own frailty when we can do no more. It is an honour to live amongst such people.
Some days I imagine the cross of Christ lifted up high above the community. It’s as I look to the cross and remember the breathtaking act of grace that was my own complete redemption, that I am reminded that with God all things are possible – forgiveness, healing, love and restoration. Its in the shadow of the cross that i find the grace I need to get up again when I’ve taken a tumble, its in its shadow that I dare not withold the grace that I have been given. We have to look to the cross – like the Israelites looked to the pole with the bronze snake on it and were healed. Whatever path it is God has you and I on, the more I live and observe, the more I realize that without the cross it wont work, it’s simply part of the design.