I prayed the impossible. Nearly three weeks ago here.
Three weeks on that figure of £100k still seems impossible. £82.00 lovingly given, thank you.
Do you remember as children planting seeds? I do. Tend the small patch of earth. Make the rows. Drop seeds one by one. Cover with earth. Pat down gently. Add the packet like a flag to the stick at the top of the row. Water diligently. Come back the next day. Nothing. And the next day. Nothing. And the day after that. Nothing. It was always our parents who kept the faith. Just wait awhile. It is growing, you just can’t see it yet. And then the day there was a hint of a green line – like adolescent “bum fluff” we all proudly called our “moustache.” Then our parents were needed to stop us fiddling. “Don’t touch.” If we “touched” we would kill the new plants. I was never cut out to be a grower of green things. Too much work and then not touching.
Praying the impossible seems like that.
Except I also remember my sister. She was forever lifting these tender green shoots out of their rows. Having a look. Putting them back. Hoiking them out again. Putting them back. With my new found wisdom I told her: “You will kill them! Don’t touch!” Except her rows grew taller and stronger than mine. She didn’t kill them. She seemed to “do something” for them that I never did. And I felt a little cheated. My new found wisdom found to be “faulty”. But never daring to copy my sister. Never doubting my parents enough to do the opposite.
Praying the impossible seems like that as well.
Three weeks now. Is the seed growing? Is the fruit that number of £100,000.00? Or is the seed and the fruit a different thing, time and place? Some “wisdom” says to keep asking. Some “wisdom” says to not. Some will enrol prayer warriors (what is a “prayer warrior” anyway?). Others will say something else. Everybody seems to have an opinion. And each does it differently.
Praying for the impossible seems a lot like my childhood seeds – “praying” seems a lot like those childhood seeds: confusing!
And this morning I am left with a question. When we pray why is praying the impossible such a “new thing” for me?
After all I pray for world peace, I pray for my family, I pray for people who are ill, bereaved, suffering, struggling, happy, unhappy, loving and unloved. Each week we pray for these young folk in the carparks. The organisation of the buses. The churches and supporters. We all pray a lot! Is that “praying the possible” … is that a prayer with “an answer” … is that prayers with meaning … what is all that “praying” about …
Or else why would “praying the impossible” be “praying the impossible” at all?
All those prayers offered in the moment. Are those prayers “possible”? Or are they more akin to a friendly gossip over the garden fence?
“Well God, Mrs Smith is really struggling right now, and then little Johnny – well look at his poorly finger! And then all that trouble in those countries that should know better – they need a good sorting out! And then I heard about that terrible accident – so sad – they need some help as well really …. Ah well, I must be off now. It was good to chat. See what you can do, eh?”
Dear Father you guide me to pray for £100,000.00 for this organisation. An organisation in which so many see You in ways that mean so much to so many. Real. Living. Loving. Caring. There week after week no matter the weather. Who see You not counting bums on seats. Young folk who see You not asking for their money. Who see You as “permanent” … eternal … Love. All that is good about Love. All that is pure of Love. Safe. Welcoming. Inclusive. Encouraging. Empowering. Seeing each of them as one individual precious creation. Growing. Changing. Never static. Never with “the answer”. Journeying through their own lives just as we journey. We see You and we see them through You. And I see me. I see us. I see You in each of us.
Yet I also see an organisation struggling: Bar n Bus. Whose focus is increasingly on persuading those who see these buses as not “generating a return”. Not a great investment for the local churches. So many other priorities ahead of these youngsters who don’t even seem interested in turning up on a Sunday morning. Youngster who seem reasonably well fed and looked after. Who have families. Who have friends. Who go to school. Who have money. They are not a priority. All these youngsters have “stuff” others don’t.
Yet inside? Inside where You live? They are as lost as any of us. As needy as any of us. As alienated from the “corporate church” as so many are. These buses are You. These buses are the You we all seek at some time in our lives. Loving. Gentle. Welcoming. Inclusive. Patient. Endlessly patient. For years. For decades. For a lifetime. Just as You are with each of us.
These buses are You.
And just like Your three years, just as You needed those around you providing the basics, that network of supporters – that web of wonder … so too the buses need that same support. They need that support right now.
Dear Father, I know this. You are the very fibre of Life. You are the fabric of Living. I know these seeds are growing. I know their fruit is Your fruit. I thank you for bringing me to a point where “prayer makes sense”, where through prayer I see more clearly. So allow me the confusion of checking my “rows” each day for that bum fluff of green! The confusion of picking bits up to have a closer look. But dear Lord I pray …
Make this happen for these young folk. For each of these young folk. For the ones we see, and the ones we have yet to see. For the ones who will come back in ten years and say with surprise: “The bus is still here? I remember when I came on the bus … it was …” (and they always remember a face/name – one whose Light shone through and reached them – your Light, your Name).
Dear Father, if You wish this it WILL happen. I pray it is so. Amen.
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“Go Fund Me” will deduct approximately 7-9% of your donation. Every donation processor, every financial institution will charge a processing fee. Which means over 90% of everything you offer is “making the impossible” happen. I am curious. I know He can. I think He knows you can. But I have never asked the impossible before.