Miracle In The Mess

The doctor told me to take pholcodine for my month-long cough. It knocked me sideways and kept me at home, though I did first get to watch Berwick Rangers with Kevin of The Open Gate, for the first time in my life. They lost. Worse, the technical problems with our email Pilgrimage for Life course have proved disastrous. But miracle can happen when life is a mess.

This was brought home to me when my friend Chris Lane sent me a copy of his new book 'Ordinary Miracles: mess, meals and meeting Jesus in unexpected places'.It tells of his family's call to live in an inner city housing estate named Langworthy, notorious for crime and deprivation, where no one wanted to live,

His stories of the Holy Spirit working in the humdrum interest me, because my own book 'The Cowshed Revolution', calls for a million 'Downwardly Mobile Christians'. In UK 80% of people live in the un-posh places where only 20% of the Christians live. Chris and his friends are helping to reverse this. He writes this about leadership: 'We need to stop trying to climb a ladder of success, stop trying to build our own brand or manufacture church growth in a way akin to an athlete using steroids. It looks great, but ultimately it destroys Jesus' body...'

Chris once invited me to spend time in Langworthy. He has found inspiration while on retreat on Holy Island where he read that Aidan 'was a good man who in his day pleased God'. Chris decided that would be good enough for himself, too, 'not going after greatness but goodness, not listing successes and numbers, just the wonderful truth that in his day he pleased God'.

I hope his book, which is easy to read, will inspire others to follow this path.

Posted at 09:27am on 27th October 2017
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