Relationship freed to be relationship

Another lift from a Facebook Group post. This FB group about our favourite place in Turkey.

The problem (or benefit) of going back to the same place time and and again is that I stop being “a tourist”. I become a real person. As do those who work there. Those who – like me – visit there. Those we meet year after year. We all become related. And relationship is more than two weeks a year.

Relationship goes deeper.

This bible we talk so much about – study so academically – defend and attack so righteously – seek to be so “correct” for God … for me it is just relationship. And just as I cannot switch on/off my “relationship” with the people I know and love in Turkey – nor can I switch on/off my relationship with GSHJ just by shutting the bible. And like choosing to not go to Turkey this year, so too my closing the bible has deepened my relationship with GSHJ.

Not having to be “correct” is liberating. Not having to attack/defend … teach/study … gather together .. pray a certain way .. behave a certain way … believe a certain set of beliefs … compromise so much so often …

All that is left is relationship freed to be “relationship”.

God Soft Hands Jesus IS relationship. Not in a new ism or ology church-speak way, not in an original or revised way, not in an OT or NT way, not even in the Gospels or the Good News way. Just as GSHJ is I Am, so too GSHJ IS relationship. Because without relationship – what is the point?

Anyway … to Facebook and Turkey relationship –

Last year we booked last minute the last two weeks in July. Everyone said we were mad. Went through a deserted Gatwick in minutes. Sat on a plane masked and safe to Dalaman. Was in and out of the airport in minutes. Had a great two weeks in a very empty Çalış. Came back through a deserted Dalaman to a deserted Gatwick and was in and out in minutes again.

We had the best time ever. Everyone here thought we were mad. We thought 2021 would be so much more “normal”. I think we nearly all did.

It isn’t.

Even if Turkey goes amber before our holiday (the last two weeks in a fast approaching June) – “normal” is even more weird than last year. And yet … all we are juggling/weighing-up are refunds and vouchers, cancellations-dates and refund-percentages. We are weighing-up whether we go here or there – whether UK or abroad.

This morning we cancelled our brought-forward-voucher-paid-flights for more vouchers please-use-by-April-2023. We then cancelled our Çalış hotel without losing a penny because that’s how Çalış works. Tomorrow we will move our unneeded parking spot at Heathrow to September and Gatwick – probably even get a small refund. And then we will hit AirBnB to plan our June UK road-trip to see family.

And our lives will continue to improve.

I see on Facebook it’s international Mother’s Day today. Pictures of “anne” (“mother” in Turkish) everywhere. Which is why I haven’t the heart to tell our Turkish brother we have just cancelled.

For us it’s two weeks. For him and his family – the hotels – the restaurants and bars – the trips and transfer peeps – the multitude of seasonal workers who rely on this season paying for the winter to come – who saw last year’s season decimated and their winter a mountain to climb – clung to this season to make things right again – who see a second winter coming fast now-near impossible …

To those real people we know and see each year “this” is everything. Çalış is not a place we go for two weeks. Çalış is the people we see, talk with, laugh with, share a little of our lives together with … become brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, even a much loved “Turkish Grandaddy” …

THAT is “Çalış”.

I feel a little sick this morning.