Although some parts of last week were decidedly difficult, overall it was good - and as I look back from the perspective of Sunday evening calm, I think this is because I actually had time to pause and to feed my brain along the way.
Monday, you see, had been proclaimed a "reading day" and despite a quick foray to take assembly at the lovely school up the road (a county school, that has no need to welcome me, but makes me feel so very much at home whenever I visit), I did actually manage to do some reading! My little clergy reading group meets tomorrow to discuss Velvet Elvis, which I read and enjoyed a couple of years ago, so it was good to be forced to revisit it and I found myself noting down some gems that I really must hang onto. If that weren't enough cause for celebration, on Thursday came a trip to the Big City of Birmingham, for the National Estates Churches Network Conference, and more space and time for serious thinking.
What pleased me particularly was that the two roads converged....It seems unlikely, perhaps, that Rob Bell (cool, American, post-modern...) and Sister Margaret Walsh (RC nun, Irish, committed to living alongside and befriending the most needy in society - also intrinsically cool because of who she is, but not in the iPod way at all at all...) should have much in common...but one of the "stand on a chair and cheer loudly" moments of Thursday was when Sr Margaret talked about the delight of recognising Christ among Muslim and Sikh neighbours, of learning and relearning that her God had been too small...What thrilled me, above and beyond this, was its echoes with words I'd jotted down on Monday
"When Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth..." he confirmed that when we come across truth in any form it is not outside Christian faith....Your faith just got bigger. To be a Christian is to claim truth wherever you find it...."