Last night in a carpark with a small bus and a table of free hot drinks and “calories” – biscuits and cakes donated in turn by the team – we see youngsters whose mums and dads don’t. Youngsters who prefer sitting together in a carpark than sitting at home. Youngsters who roam with no fixed abode (before returning to their fixed abodes). Youngsters who have no idea of life beyond the next set of exams. And who – for many – see no point in the next set of exams anyway.
They do not need a dose of God, they love the permanency of love. The certain knowledge that there will be a small bus and a table of free hot drinks and calories each week and every week.
And that bus and table come with us bunch of wrinklies (some with less wrinkles). Wrinklies who don’t bring “God” as found on a Sunday. Who don’t preach God as preached on a Sunday. Who don’t pass a plate as passed on a Sunday. Who don’t expect regular attendance. Who dress in (ever increasing) “layers” rather than their Sunday best. Wrinklies who do not judge as so often happens on a Sunday. Old people who are old people but not the same old people as rule the world of the young folk. Not parents, nor teachers, not counsellors, nor bosses, not even “friends”.
Bar n Bus is of “religion”. Bar n Bus is religion. It is birthed of church. It is birthed of God.
Last night in that carpark we talked quietly of how we are born – designed – created – to succeed. How as babies and Alfie’s we do not know the meaning of failure or fear. And as we looked around at us wrinklies and these youngsters talking and laughing and drinking and chomping – we saw failure and fear. Why is it that as we grow in wisdom we lose that designed for success as we are taught to fear failure. And why do we rejoice in calling that knowledge and wisdom.
We call religion (some of us) all bad with nothing good ever. We see youngsters (some of us) as hoodies and hoodlums. We fear death (some of us). We fear unconditional love (some of us). We fear failure and call that wisdom.
We learned that fear. We learned that labelling. We learned “membership”. And along the way we forgot that we succeed every day.
So if we seek “God” to overcome that taught fear – why not? If we seek “love” to overcome that learning – why not? If we can enjoy a hot drink and free calories in a carpark with those who bring the permanency of love and hope not called God but just “love” – why not?
I got home last night to a sleeping and silent home. And a stinky Alfie bedroom. Perfectly content and perfectly sleeping in a soiled nappy. He woke as I changed him. Those wide eyes and silent face. We connected as we always do. No words passed between us. I lay him back down in his sleep bag. And …
Do you ever really look into another’s eyes? I rarely do without having to break the silence. That deep look says it all – and then I have to say it all as well. With Alfie that look says it all without any need to say anything. So we didn’t.
And then he slept again.
Designed for success.
I love you Alfie.