It's been a week of parties. Writing up research visits. Teaching some English. But around that… Spending quality time with some of the people that I love most in the whole world.
Thursday night some of my favourite girls came over to drink tea, eat cheese fondue and cake, and laugh a lot. Tonight we threw a little '30-again-party' for my Japanese Mum (who obviously in fact, a fair few years past 30…), which involved a lot of flowers, a lot more cake and a lot more laughter.
My heart is full and happy.
And I am back again, in the quiet reflections of the evening, remembering one of my favourite Shane Claiborne quotes.
I've become less concerned with what I am doing and more concerned with who I am becoming… Which is a lover of Jesus.
I love this truth. That it's in the every-day-living-of-life-and-loving-Jesus-and-then-loving-others that we step by step become better lovers of Jesus. Which is the point of everything.
I love that it isn't about being strong all the time. That often it's about being vulnerable and instead, pointing to God, who is our strength.
Elsewhere, Shane Claiborne writes these words, which hit me hard, because I believe them.
All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip or dance, just don't tiptoe.
Or put in different language, I think that Teresa of Avila is getting at this same kind of challenge.
Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are the body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Do you get what I'm meaning?
This is about real relationships.
First a real relationship with Jesus. One that changes everything and will forever change everything.
Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
But then that this love changes in the outpouring of love and relationships we form with others.
Genuine, real, raw, love. Not a tiptoeing kind of safe love. But a vulnerable, not strong, pointing to Jesus kind of love.
And with that simple thought, please enjoy the last few days in picture form… 😉