Holy Spirit come

Crowds scattered across the platforms like ants before rain when the unexpected flood at King’s Cross threw down its thick blue shadow. Thousands of liters at once, it came without lead up or warning, a titanic blue smear streaking into sudden existence in a rare, cloudless, October sky.

Hurtling down like a fist from miles above, when it finally hit, the building shook, high panes shattering out of shrieking sockets with a thousand tinkling pops. Glittering like teeth in a foaming, navy maw, they flickered in the twisting, rainbow hues of refracted fluorescents before winking out in the water themselves. Screaming as it came, terrified train goers threw their arms high, shoving each other out of the way in their frenzy to escape.

Slamming down hard, the water took the first of them with considerable force. Sweeping them up like opened fingers, they were swallowed in an instant, forward momentum spinning them deep into the warm water before popping them up for air.

Terrified as they tumbled through an ocean of glassy, razor-edged fish, as they managed to slip by the shards unharmed again and again, felt the warm water tug and play with their hair, their shoes, their fingers, they were also the first to start laughing when they emerged, water wiping them clean with a magnitude and finality none of them had ever imagined.

The next were taken more gently, legs knocking out from under them to land them in waist high waters. Falling beneath the surging waves to lose their paperwork, their work heels, their mobiles, as the water washed them clean, they started laughing too.

The third group managed to hold their ground longer, only slipping a little as the water tugged at their shoes. Safe against pillars and gate posts, as their fellow train-goers popped up smiling, weren’t electrocuted or drowned, they left their islands to slog through and help, to rescue those who no longer had the need. Wading through the warmth to their fellows, it took them a little longer, though they too at length found their way. Feeling the first splashes of a laughing tourist, the warm splatter on their freshly starched clothes, it wasn’t long before even the hardest of them was splashing too, rolling back in the steadying waves to get clean with arms spread wide.

As the water found its level, so did the rest of the people. Lying back, soaking wet, they stared up through twisted panes to the glorious sun-swept sky, some all on their own, others in pairs or clusters. Letting it pour into their hearts, resting at last, the train goers lay together for a time that went beyond understanding, finally at peace.

Then, rising with a new source, they left, each in their own timing and purpose and soaked to the bone.

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Real Magic

Light streams in from windows above,
shines on His kids like fingers.
Playing at trains, running,
hunting, they search for joy.

Above, within, beyond,
something greater is there,
a presence, truth,
flooding in like the sun.

The Father’s hands opened,
a miracle beyond time.
Stretched out through blood and glory,
streams of water bursting wide.

Magic: to influence,
to have supernatural power.

Magic: to love beyond understanding,
to sacrifice one for all.

Running through the station,
His children take his hand.
Playing at trains and magic,
they take His love outside.

Touching Camden

Camden Lock market is a beautiful, mysterious place. Lined with tightly packed stalls, narrow streets, and aisles that knot for miles, it’s chock full of foreign food, onesies, leather, t-shirts and incense. Jewelry, books, antiques, just about anything you could hope to find can be found somewhere inside. Walking through you think you’ve left London, might find your next great adventure, a new planet, somewhere around the next corner.

Outside, you find more of the city, but don’t lose your sense of the strange. A world of over-sized shoe signs, mesh t-shirts, pop music and smoothies. A hodge podge of a thousand cultures, it has a feel all its own, a sharpening of your senses you don’t find with the crowd on South Bank or on the posh Notting Hill streets.

Camden has a realness, a sense of fantasy that makes it unique. Whether traveling to the depths of Cyberdog, Proud Camden’s gardens, the reggae filled Stables, each ties into the other, an ecosystem of differing cultures, mindsets, religions, beliefs. Like a Star Wars bazaar or a Neil Gaiman novel, it’s full of whimsy, the unknown, the new. A sense that you could get lost there, and adventure your way back.

God loves it there.

So do we. Tracing through the markets with prayer, praising on the streets, as God pours out His love for the people, we do the same. Talking to people, offering hope, it’s our joy and privilege to go.

God has a heart for Camden. He longs to rescue her, sheltering her like a hen with her wings.

Going down there, loving people, the sights, the sounds, we feel the same.

O God, redeem your city, bring light where once there was dark. Let Camden be your lighthouse, a shelter for the wounded and blind. Let your wings cover your people, and your light shine in the dark. Let the arts serve your purposes, and save those who now stray. Protect and bless your people. Let your presence come like a flood. Bless and rescue Camden.

Amen.

Hanging with the tappers

A short piece I did while watching our dance track practice together:

I love watching my children learn. I love to see them grow. To work for something difficult, to work together to see it grow. These are the hearts of my children, teachable, patient, loving. Oh, the gifts I have given them. I love to see their joy. Bringing joy, bringing redemption, light to a darkened world. What a joy it is to see my children use their gifts, to see their gifts take flight. And even if they stumble, I am there to catch them when they fall. I pick them up, clean off their knees, and set them aright again. What joy I have in watching them learn, what delight in watching their passions. To give them peace, to give them comfort, for them to know that I love their progress. Such is my heart for my children, the freedom I have for their hearts. I love watching how they grow, and in it I am active. Changing hearts, bringing my kingdom, all in the little steps. Scuffles, steps, hops, heels, these are the sounds of my kingdom, and this is how it comes. How I love my children, how I love to see them grow.

What’s up with fashion track

Hey all,

In addition to Soho, Camden and the other places we do outreach, YWAM London Radiant also does ministry through our various artistic tracks. To give you an inside look into what we do in them, I interviewed three of our 2016 DTS students, Channi, Kirstine and Chloe (left to right above) about themselves and what God is doing in fashion.

What projects are you doing in Fashion Track right now?

Channi: We are doing a shirt and a skirt, so I’m making patterns for it right now.

Kirstine: Right now I am making a top and a skirt.

Chloe: I am making my dress from my internship.

What about fashion do you love? What about it excites you?

Channi: I like that you can declare who you are and no style is similar because it’s a part of you and you can express yourself. I like the quote, “a dress to express, not to impress,” because you express how you feel, how you want to be seen. The industry is not about fabric or a certain piece of clothing, it’s more about people.

Kirstine: I really like that you can tell so many stories through it, you can give a lot of themes or things you want to say with it, so it’s something I really like.

Chloe: I like that it’s showing me about my real passions, that it’s a detail in my life, but not my passion.

How do you think God feels about fashion? What does He love about it?

Channi: I think He loves how individual we can be when we clothe ourselves. He was the first fashion designer, so that really excites me because it’s part of who my Heavenly Father is. He’s with me.

Kirstine:
I think He loves the creativity in it. Right now I think there are so many bad sides of fashion, the way they look at people, it’s so much about how you look and that’s what matters, but God wants to speak so much truth into fashion and change it up.

Chloe:
I think fashion started in the beginning when Adam and Eve realized they were naked and had to sew fig leaves together to make clothing so I feel like fashion was the start, the beginning, even if we don’t think about it. God created fashion, and that’s how he created it.

How do you think God is using you in this time?

Channi:
First of all, I’m just exploring my own style right now. Today He is pressing how we can care so much about a specific size in clothing when it’s not about size at all, it’s about how you feel.

Kirstine: In this time, it’s a season where I’m learning a lot about the basic things like how to make your own clothes. It’s a season for me to learn a lot, but he also speaks to me a lot about the way you can use fashion to honor Him.

Chloe:
He’s showing me a lot that fashion isn’t so broad. Fashion isn’t always about clothes and accessories, etc. Fashion is how you present yourself and how you want people to look at you.

What do you think God is planning for fashion track in future?

Channi: I think that He is going to work a lot in the girls that are coming here because many girls have this wrong side of fashion, more about the number and how you should look and not how you feel. I think it’s going to affect a lot of girls and boys, the younger generation, because we are more obsessed with how we look these days, and fashion is expanding so much and becoming unholy.

Kirstine: What I dream for this is that we can have more connections to some Christian fashion designers so we also can have some influence with the fashion world.

Chloe: I think He wants fashion week to become a very big, exciting idea for fashion track, to be involved.

What do you hope to do after your DTS, with fashion or otherwise?

Channi: What is planned right now is that I’ll be staying for the internship and be staff afterwards. I think God has a lot in store for that, that I’m going to grow a lot in this and be creative in it and just help the ministry here and still find out where He wants me in it.

Kirstine: It’s a big question. I don’t know, I want to do what God wants me to do. I feel like He’s speaking to me about fashion, so I think I’m going to do something about fashion, but what I want to do is what He wants me to do, so I don’t know yet what’s going to happen.

Chloe: To accept the process I’ve been through in my DTS, that fashion has been a big process for me to realize God’s other gifts for me, that I had a reason to be here in the fashion DTS.

Ministry in Soho

There’s a sign on one of the stores proudly proclaiming addiction. The windows are filled with men’s underwear, tools and gadgets claiming pleasure. Across the street “massage” shops pedal their wares, adult book and video stores lining other parts of the street. Rich walk or drive by uncaring, side by side by with the homeless and hungry, high, sold and selling. It’s not the kind of place you’d like to live, perhaps one to visit for shows or shopping, novelty or to say you did. People tell us we’re crazy, that the place is lost, a modern Gomorrah. “Give up, you’re fools, you’re stupid,” they say. “No thanks, I’m good,” say others.

And yet, handing out coffee, it’s one of my favorite things. Snuggled away in a tiny cafe, staring down the porn shop five feet shy of face to face. Offering prayer, healing, light to the shattered people. Most of them say no, walk by without speaking or a small “no thanks.”

But that’s not really the point, is it? It’s not about the coffee, the tea, how many lumps of sugar we spoon. Because lost causes are only lost when there’s no one left to fight for them, nobody left to say that they care, and Jesus is in this place, calling out, stirring the milk and tea. He is ferrying out water, pouring cups, asking people questions. He cares, He is there, and that is why we go.

The Living Room, our little cafe, an oasis in the dark. Like a warm cabin in a frigid woods’ winter, light and worship pour out from the doors and windows, help and love as an offering.

 

Thank you Jesus, for what You are doing in Soho.

Behind the curtain

Tucked behind a lace curtain, James ran his hand over the hair of his wife, her hand on his chest with her head crooked into his shoulder. Slightly frayed with the first few grays, each strand felt like a memory, two children sleeping in a pink and red room two doors over. Catching up on the latest episode of Big Brother, it was hardly the show that mattered, the volume little more than coffee shop murmur compared to the scent of her hair, the soft puckering of her first wrinkles. She was already sleeping anyway, was always put to sleep by the telly. Sucking in a deep breath, James tilted his head back on the couch, closing his eyes with a smile as her fingers rose and fell with his chest. This was the great wonder of familiarity, the intimate joy of knowing someone so close. It was twelve years since they’d been married, two kids, laughter, tears. They’d grown a lot since then, fought, made up, worked. It was amazing the beauty of silence, the noise of her lungs pulling in air. How well he knew her breath, and still he loved to hear it, the curl of her knuckles, strands of loose hair.

James straightened his legs in a slow, luxurious stretch. Re-adjusting his body beneath her as he released, his wife wriggled in kind, re-settling at his side as he turned his head deeper in, drew in her warmth at a shiver. Easing out a final yawn, he drew a blanket over their waists, let the TV run. In a few hours they’d wake again, gather their things and silence the screen. Real silence would reign when they finished, with the last shuffing sound of their sheets. But for now, he could wait, could let her rest undisturbed. This was the joy of his wife, of being her husband, and how he loved her well.