Please mind the gap …..
I was returning from a long weekend in London where my daughter Holly lives, we had spent the time sorting through our Ugandan photos and sharing our time there together, which had been put on hold due to the trip ending with Holly being taken into hospital. We now know it was a blood infection.
The sharing of our time produced so many memories, lots of smiles tears of joy and sadness as well as images of hope.
It was on my journey home when I alighted from the train, those big yellow letters on the platform jumped up to meet me like never before.
MIND THE GAP
I spent the rest of the journey home meditating on why the words had ‘spoken’ to me and what they meant to me now.
These thoughts I will now share with you.
When I returned home to my ‘normal’ routine, surely I thought it would have to be a new ‘normal’ after such an epic experience.
I found myself increasingly in ‘a gap’ not quite there (Uganda) and not quite home (UK)
Would my feet and heart ever come together?
The feeling caused discomfort but made me aware of something going on, what was it? How could I again get use to the disconnected culture I call home, be it temporary. I had left the embrace of the people I had spent time with in Uganda. Every smiling face, welcoming me to Uganda. People proud of their nation despite the corruption and poverty that was very real to so many. The gap between the rich and poor still increasing.
I have now been changed from ‘what’ I saw to ‘what’ am I going to do in this ‘gap’. It’s where Jesus is and as he is praying for us so I can join him in praying for the people I met and their situations that I witnessed with him and for him.
Prayer has always been a mystery to me always anxious to ‘do’ instead of ‘be’ but what I have learnt is that the being is the doing, presenting to God the concerns of others
It reminded me of Moses standing in the gap between God and his people Israel and then Jesus for us who pleads to the Father on our behalf interceding, we know the spirit speaks when we can only groan.
Also of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 v 12. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
God’s world, Gods work and we are his co workers, called to be his body wherever he places us, not always understanding or fully seeing.
So in this gap I met hope, I met compassion, I met children being brought out of poverty their potential being unlocked, a future to look forward to, before they had no framework to understand a future. Being shown unconditional LOVE a basic human need — that grows and expands inside to create the very person God had in mind for them.
The challenge as we consider the poor is to listen to Jesus who said ‘the poor will always be among you, but be open handed, (wherever that might present itself) .
Where the announcement ‘Mind the Gap’ on the platform heralds a warning of danger, Gods gap is safe, but sometimes a lonely place, sacred and holy but it is where we can find and be found by Jesus
Since I’ve been back I continue to struggle with the developed world’s abundant waste and self seeking culture. I wondered how I would cope with the ‘reverse culture shock’ and reconcile these two very different cultures. In Uganda I had been exposed to the very heart of what it is to be human. Compassionuk.org a child development program is a charity with a passion to work within communities reaching out, connecting, releasing potential in Mothers who had been a left with babies and children to bring up alone. Equipping them with life skills to give them independence, to earn money and to look forward to a future.
One observation, was, as Uganda is struggling to connect within their communities with the mind to change. The UK seems to be disconnecting with the use of technology overtaking the need for human contact, again, I see a ‘gap’!
So my concluding thoughts are to surrender all my over thinking, rationalising, feelings of despair. I know I can, and will boldly enter the throne room of grace for Uganda and Compassion projects because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.
Jesus again said “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.
John 3 v 16 . For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So do you want to MIND THE GAP?