London is a city of 8,788,029 people, give or take a few. Over the years I have been fortunate (blessed) to stay in homes close to a forest where I can walk daily and talk to the Lord. Even though it rains I venture out every day, tread carefully on muddy paths, keep my camera at the ready for unsuspecting deer, foxes and badgers, look up through trees at grey skies, examine water droplets on branches, and touch the sodden bark of dark trees. No one is here. So I ponder the startling question: Why do so few start the day with a walk at first light? What is it that compels me to walk when others sleep, check email, drink coffee, or beyond my comprehension: watch tv?
But who am I to judge. I have a long list of failings, so daren’t compare myself with those who have better social skills than me, those who love better, those with a better sense of humour, those more generous or less prone to depression or cynicism than myself. Oscar Wilde said comparisons are odious, so it is better for me to be content with who I am, and happy with my own skin (even as it wrinkles) and learn to like myself better, before I shuffle off this mortal coil (Enid Blyton).
In London I stay with friends from last year, Rob and Sally, who are the epitome of generous and hospitable hosts. I am humbled that people like this can take a stranger in and give them food, lodging, accommodation, local knowledge, finance, and the use of a vehicle: a dark blue 2003 Saab Aero SW. Wow, fly baby fly.
On Good Friday I participate in a public march with the Cross, which reminds me of the time years ago on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem on a Good Friday, one of the most moving experiences of my entire life. On Sunday I attend a resurrection day service at the local Baptist church, where a young autistic man is baptised, giving testimony that finding Jesus has given meaning to his life. Within 4 days (on the Isle of Wight) I attend the funeral of a young autistic man who did not find Christ and hung himself. The contrast couldn’t be more stark, and reminds me why I am on the road sharing the hope I have in Jesus, restoration & healing at the foot of the Cross, with those who will listen.