For the sound of your summer, there can be no other than the esteemed Ben Howard. What an awesome music video!
Have a summery, hanging-out-y, playful weekend.
Some of us in the house were really challenged by this story, particularly Jesus’ words to “sell what you possess and give to the poor”. So we gave away all our income for a month, keeping it a secret from most people, and lived ‘by faith’, i.e. just on what we happened to receive.
At the same time, we also really wanted to keep being more and more hospitable as a house, so we decided that we would keep having friends over and feeding them whatever we had. We also didn’t want to start behaving in a poor way, i.e. just hoarding and trying to make whatever we had last as long as possible, since that doesn’t require any faith, so we ate as much and as good quality as we normally would.
Some things I learnt during this time:
- ‘Not having anything’ (or rather, thinking we don’t have anything) is immensely freeing and a great stimulant to creativity. It is nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be. It did, however, feel nasty, all stripped down like fasting (which I am really bad at). Which leads me to…
- My spirituality is flabby. Quite often my comfort does not come from God; it comes from new clothes and £3 hot chocolates in cafes. Loving money and ‘stuff’ is a stronghold that needs to be contested regularly
- However, God can totally be trusted to provide. Quite a lot of free stuff appeared during this time…
- Petrol – the few people we had told decided to fill up our tanks! So we had enough to go places
- Food – always enough to feed ourselves and any friends we had over; lots of timely leftovers from various shindigs
- A replacement bedframe and mattress when I had bedbugs! – my parents had promised me a new mattress ages ago, so it was time to cash in; my housemate had a spare bedframe
- Lifts – quite a lot of them just when they would have been nice (and sometimes necessary); from people that we knew, who happened to be driving by
- Fun! – Charlecote Park, a cool art installation project, Coventry cathedral secondhand book sale, a barbecue, getting kidnapped to go and see As You Like It by the Royal Shakespeare Company, seeing Watford FC play live (!) etc etc
- Manifestly, God is in the business of providing beyond the stale-crusts-and-water lifestyle
- He is also a big fan of hospitality
- If your finances aren’t in shape, it’s hard to bless other people
- I don’t tell God nearly enough what I want
- These things are better done in community. Much better. It’s amazing how powerful community is to keep people alive and happy.
On reflection, I have realised that while my feelings associated with this season were of misery and there not being enough, the fact is that there was always enough, and then some. It’s just that my idea of what is ‘enough’ is a lot beyond what is actually needed to have a perfectly adequate, enjoyable life.
We don’t seem to be any the worse for the wear, and it’s definitely gotten under the veneer of my religion (the stuff I say I believe) to show me the condition of my faith (what I actually believe). Feels like just the beginning of a much longer process of faith adventures, cultivating a simple life and growing in trust…