Thank you to Alistair, our CEO, for our Easter reflection:
Imagine that you had never heard of the Easter story: you read of crucifixion, the preferred and deadly effective deterrent of the day: Jesus tortured, made to carry a splinter-full and awkward cross, and hung on it in the heat of the day.
But then you read on… strange and wonderful things are happening everywhere, and then the big reveal: Jesus is back from the dead! I defy you not to say: “Oh my word, what is going on here?… I was not expecting that!”
At Easter now I expect bunnies, I expect lambs, and I expect 100 different ways to do chocolate eggs. But I long for that same wonder at the Resurrection, this “I wasn’t expecting that” feeling.
So, I turn my mind to where I see God doing some extraordinary things now… little things that remind me of the big things. Things that we see across the Faithworks family that stop me in my tracks…
- Our carpentry workshop offers hope and stability – but I wasn’t expecting the trainees to have learned so fast to produce such exquisite workmanship in the candlesticks, wooden pens etc., as they continue to rejoice in new-found skills after homelessness, addiction and the like;
- Our food banks can only help those in need if the community give what they can – I am continually amazed at how people respond so quickly to the needs when they are put out on social media; but I wasn’t expecting the generosity of someone turning up at the food bank with a whole car-load of food;
- I wasn’t expecting to see successful business people (young guys, not only those who have retired) taking such delight in driving the Poole food bank+ van and collecting donated food from supermarkets every week;
- In these days of quick fixes, I didn’t expect to find our Community Money Debt Advisors sometimes spending months and months helping an individual sort out their finances and find a route out of debt; I am in awe of their care and perseverance;
- I didn’t expect the joy a simple Mother’s Day event at a local church gave the children as well as the parentsof our “SMILE families”; my heart swells when I hear of how they arranged it so that children of Single parent families could choose, decorate and then wrap a little Spring plant to give to their mum on their special day – maybe the only present she would get;
- I didn’t expect the feeling of being part of a community when I joined a few chaps at a table at the Christchurch Foodbank+ Community meal and talked with a guy about Fibonacci sequences, antiques bought for £1.50 going to auction with a value in the thousands, and how God has helped him quit drinking for more than 4months now
Across the family of Faithworks projects each day, individuals are walking in with despair heavy on their shoulders and leaving with their heads up: so often we here the phrase “I wasn’t expecting such kindness”. And it helps me see that God is still at work in “little victories”. I can go back to the Easter story with renewed wonder and thanks and unexpected joy.
I pray that you and I will find moments over Easter that stop us in our tracks: “I wasn’t expecting that!”
Alistair Doxat-Purser, CEO