The potential for beauty.

Wow. Today has been FULL. It's been so completely, totally, jam-packed full. In a super-amazing way.

And so this blog post will be short. Because I really need to get to the Orchestral performance that we are going to see tonight. Really, really…


Tomorrow I am leaving Glasgow straight after a morning of lectures to drive to the Deep Impact conference and the weekend is going to be even more full, so this might be my last blog post until the beginning of next week… (And while I touch on the weekend please remember the conference in your prayers. I've had the privilege of being part of the planning team these last months and am taking a couple of seminars on Saturday. Please pray for everyone who is involved, speaking and serving, attending and receiving. We really long that Jesus would do powerful things and would just push us into this year…)

I'm so excited about what Holy Spirit wants to do.

So today.


This morning we were hearing from a church planter/lecturer from Paris. Incredible.

This afternoon we were visiting the Royal Conservetoire of Scotland to meet with the Dean (who is also the most phenomenal pianist) and explore the connections between the arts in the urban context and the spirituality that comes through in the artistic disciplines. Amazing.

Over dinner we have had a lecture with an inspirational guy who heads up a missionary order which works with the poor. And is a very talented artist. And he was talking us through one of his drawings.

And wow. Wow.

He talked about hope.


And he talked about the way in which artists can often see capacity, where other people see need.

So he showed us this intricate drawing, that my description will never do justice to.

A black and white pencil sketch of a slum in Saigon.

Broad. Detailed. Strangely beautiful.

In the image, there is a striking helicopter hovering over the slum. Below, hung by bindings, is a statue of Jesus.

Stone. Bound. Dead. And above.

But Jesus doesn't have relevance for the slum in the statue.

If you look closely at the drawing, there is a small girl standing in the edge of the picture. The helicopter hovering above can't even see her.

But Jesus is nailed to the reality of the slum.

He's not in the air. He's on the ground. And in the imagery this is shown through subtle hidden crosses in the landscape.

There is a beauty to the slum through the storytelling process.

And this picture was drawn to speak into the challenge of mission. Not just mission in Saigon, but mission in a global context.

And we often want to save and be safe at the same time.

We want to be at an altitude.

Like the helicopter.

We sometimes want easy, distant, non-committed mission, which holds out a bound, stone, irrelevant Jesus.

But Jesus is nailed to the reality of the slum.

And in this drawing, the slum was reflected in water. To represent the upsidedown kingdom of God, being present in the corners of the world.

Ok. I need to stop here. We have to go.

But I'm so incredibly moved by that.

The potential for beauty.

The longing for beauty and the beauty of longing. For Jesus.

I don't think I could include a picture that came close justice wise, so I'm going to leave this blank.

Love you all!


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