What the pewsitter learned…

From his Mum and Dad: Go to the nearest church that teaches the Bible. The brand doesn’t matter. Am I allowed to say that in an Anglican paper? Too late. (They fled Anglicanism after a English bishop imposed a liberal priest on their inner London church )

From his sister: If you go to a big church, you can go to a little church as well. Go where you are needed.

From his nervous breakdown: God loves you even when you don’t love yourself anymore. As Dante put it “in the midst of life we are suddenly in a dark wood.” Even in the darkest part of the wood I knew God loved me. I had lost everything else. Years later there are times when I wish I could recapture that desperate holding onto God.

From getting over it: I lost the idea I could be perfect or even very good. “No merit of my own I claim” became real to me at the time.. I just had to do the best I could and in small steps for a while. It sounds obvious but it was liberating for me at that moment.
If I could not do great things for God then I would try to do some small ones .Sanctification I discovered was a bit like the Murray. Slow-moving, deceptively still, unstoppable.it gets you to the sea.

From feeble prayer: We all know what the Bible says about fervent prayer and righteous men. But I have discovered that my sort of prayers work too. I came to Sydney as the only Christian among six mates. Unbelievingly and fitfully I prayed for them. Today four of the six are Christians. We have a better God than we deserve.

From severe mercy. When one of your kids is challenged it hurts. There were years when it was only prayer that got us to school. I never knew what time I would get to work. I had to learn to value what God values.

From sticking.. It only took five or so families to decide to stick at our tiny church in the inner west – decidedly non-bible belt territory – to get the place to grow. Perhaps we were the grit in the oyster. We’re big now, sometimes it feels too big. To misquote john laws: Sometimes you are on a good thing because you stick with it.

From being on the edge. I used to think I was strange from relating mostly sinners who don’t know they are sinners. But now I think that’s where this Christian is meant to be. I think most of us are.

From her. The pewsitteress spends a couple of mornings a week running play groups. The thing is she is a lousy evangelist, and finds it hard to land it up with Christian content. She used to feel really guilty about this but those feelings have been quieted by t the number of families who have come to church though playgroup.. She’s sort of the burley that attracts the fish that the really crack fishermen round here get to work on.


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