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Monday, April 23, 2018

The Human Library

I think I'm off the rollercoaster now (see previous post) .... here's hoping!

I'm still not up to normal energy levels but I risked a "busy" weekend by joining in with two groups of people with whom I have shared different parts of my life.

Before I tell you about them - if you've never heard of The Human Library this brief YouTube clip will give you an idea and there are many websites (click here for one of them) that tell you more detail. I felt that the weekend was almost like being in a Human Library.

On Saturday there was a reunion with some of my year group from Bible College Days. We graduated in 1972. It was enjoyable to re-connect and to share some stories of where life has taken us in the 46 years(!!!) since then. There were lots of laughs, some sadness we re-called those no longer with us and then prayer for current issues of concern. Looking at old photos brought back many memories (and more laughs). Although our journeys have taken us to different parts of the world and through different careers and personal challenges, we still have in common our love for Jesus and our Christian commitment. It was a joyful occasion.

On Sunday I managed to get to Church after several weeks away. Ponsonby Baptist Church is my closest community of like-minded friends and fellow travellers on life's journey. It was lovely to be back, And what a special occasion it was! A good part of the service was given to having several people introduce themselves. If that sounds rather unremarkable, it certainly was not! We heard eight introductions. Among just eight people there were differences in ethnicity, language, education, sexual orientation, mental health, confidence in speaking, ideas about God... I'd love to tell some of their stories more fully but they are not mine to tell in this forum. It struck me that all of them felt safe enough in our community to be so honest. I thought, "Jesus is very happy to be here! This is just the sort of 'mixed bag' of people he loved to welcome and accept." I felt humbled, inspired and blessed.

These two groups of people represent such very different chapters of my life! I wondered what would happen if I brought both groups together. Jesus would certainly love and affirm each and every person and hold us all in the embrace of unconditional love.

As I said in  'About this Blog': "The Blog title Concentric Circles is a way of saying that every phase of the spiritual journey takes me to a new horizon which includes but transcends the one before."
I love the way there is always more to include while still appreciating and valuing all that has gone before.