Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Electrifying Pete

lightning-bolt

On the way back from our antics in a field last night, we popped in for a cuppa at the Cornerstone community house (yes, all thirty of us - it's a big place), and over a cup of tea, something profound happened. As if young people together in a field expressing their passion for Jesus, really getting to grips with the Jesus Revolution, wasn't profound enough already. But something else happened.

I got talking to Pete as I sipped my tea. Lovely bloke. Been living in community for "many, many years." Baptised at Bugbrooke Chapel in 1972. (I was minus two at the time so I hadn't yet had the pleasure of meeting him.) I only really met him properly last night, and as the conversation developed, something began to happen to me on the inside. Hard to explain, but I think something of his spirit rubbed off and had an effect on me. Electrifying.

The conversation ran something like as follows, being from my point of view a three-way conversation - both me and Pete talking, and at the same time something weird happening to my insides:

Me: "So, do you live here, then?"

Pete: "Oh, yes, I've lived here for many, many years."

My insides: "Pause for thought. How can I get to know this nice-looking, pleasant-natured man? What's his story? I wonder if he's married. Ah, he looks pretty old. Maybe his wife has died. If so, I shouldn't mention it. Or should I?"

Me: "So, do you live here with your wife?"

Pete: "No, no, I'm celibate ..."

My insides: "Ah, of course, now he mentions it, he looks like a celibate. But he hasn't finished his sentence so I'd better listen on. Why is he smiling? And why is he holding that smile for so long? He appears to have interrupted himself in mid-sentence in order to smile for a very long time. Goodness, he's beaming! Wow. What a genuinely joy-filled brother. Something tells me he's really going to mean what he says next."

Pete: "I been a celibate for many, many years - and it's brilliant."

My insides: "Man, I appear to have stumbled across an opportunity that is seriously worth not missing. This guy's for real. He's been celibate for 'many, many years' and I bet he could tell me a thing or two. But I'd better smile back and take a few sips of tea before I carry on. Wouldn't wanna push it. Just met the bloke."

Me: "So what things have been a real strength to you as a celibate over the years? What would you say has really kept you?"

Pete: "Well ..."

My insides: "He's taking a long time to think. Maybe he needs a while to chew it over. Big question after all. Oh, hang on, there's that smile again. Ooh, I feel a bit funny inside all of a sudden. Tingly."

Pete: "... Jesus. Yeah, it's Jesus! Nothing else can really keep you ... except him."

My insides: "He really means that. Oh yeah, I'd forgotten it was that simple. Ooh, I really do feel quite funny. Good funny. Hearing the name 'Jesus' said like that appears to have done something to me. Hairs on back of neck standing on end. Electric inside."

Me: [Stunned silence. Lost for words.]

Pete: "And ... yeah, thanking the Lord. Thanking the Lord for everything, always thanking the Lord even when things are difficult."

My insides: "That smile. Those words. I want to be like that. I want to 'always thank the Lord'. Fuzzy tingly warm sensations. I appear to be experiencing the Holy Spirit through what this dear man is saying. Nice. More than nice. Ooh."

Me: "You know what I like about what you've just said? The fact that it's so simple. It's so simple, yet so profound."

Pete: "Yeah, well, to be honest ..." - excited smile, eyes beaming - "... I am simple. Yeah, I'm simple. It's another thing that has kept me over the years. Keeping an uncluttered life. Many years ago, I was going to get married, but the Lord said to me, 'I want you for myself,' and I was more than happy with that."

And he clearly still is.

He is known by many as Pete 'Trusting' - and I can see why.

RAW Youth in a Field for Jesus

raw-jesus-army-marquee

Thirty or so of us went to Cofton Park last night. We got together all the young people in our church living closeby and drove to Birmingham, to the very site where RAW 2010 is being held this August. We were planning and plotting about how we could get as many of our friends there as possible, so we thought we might as well do it on site, as it were.

The field is big, big, big and will be an excellent site for the Jesus Army giant marquee. It was raining somewhat, but that didn't put us off worshipping, praying for our friends and sprinting all around the field praying for the site.

I really got a feel for what it's gonna be like having hundreds of young people gathered in that field in August. It gonna be well good. Unmissable. Revolutionary.