Thursday, 17 March 2011

Saint Patrick's Day

Sitting here yawning and thinking "must do blog, must do blog ..."  Well ... too tired to do it!  A couple of pictures and that will do for tonight.  I'll come back in the morning.  The church picture is of Saint Bartholomew's in Stranmillis where free food and hot drinks were provided all afternoon.
The candle holder is Belleek.

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of his love.

Friday morning catch-up.
So .... Saint Patrick's Day is over for another year.  I wore my bright green shirt for the occasion although the photographs don't record it accurately.  It really is a bright shamrock colour.  
Most of the day was very gentle doing little .... then, in the late afternoon I headed over to Stranmillis to join the Revs Ron and Janice in their street ministry at the gate of Saint Bartholomew's.
Each Saint Patrick's Day they provide free food and hot drinks to anyone in the area.  It was my first time to be part of this and not only is it a great way to show the unconditional love of God to folk ... it is also tremendous fun!  We met so many interesting people.  
Families where the young folk were particularly pleased to enjoy the chocolate sweets ... mums and dads who appreciated our efforts to soak up some of the alcohol ... and a huge number of students who had already had a bit more than was good for them.  
Some couldn't understand why anyone would give them something free - totally free - no preaching, no invitations ... just free food!  If they asked about God then we were happy to chat and there were some good conversations.
One lad had written a song about Jesus which he wanted to play for me ... a long song ... actually a very long song ... he sang only half a dozen verses (with chorus after each verse) - a very mournful song .... His work at present is guitarist in a rock band.  Eddie was happy to pose with me ... I wonder if he'll get to see this blog and know how much I enjoyed listening to him singing above the noise of passing traffic and his rather loud companions.  Some of them were well on the way to needing help to get home ... others wanted to get into deep conversations that were made a tad difficult due to slurred speech!  But all of them lovely young men and women who were very appreciative of the food supplied by Saint Bartholomew's.
The shot of the church was taken without flash just using the fading evening light and the floodlighting at the church.  A beautiful building and the people doing what they can to be church in the community ... reaching out with God's love ... and doing it unconditionally.  I was pleased to be part of it and hope that today, even with hangovers, some of the folk we met will continue to feel the love that was given to them yesterday.  May God bless them.


Anonymous said...

Saint Patrick would be smiling! God himself knows the hearts you all touched. MrsMcF

Kelly said...

I'm so glad you expounded on the pictures of the guitarist (reminds me a little of a young Ian Anderson) and the other "kids"! In my tiny little home town in Pennsylvania yesterday the church I grew up in held a community lunch, which they do every few months (free of charge). It gets folks together to visit for longer than the quick post office chat and is a nice treat for those who really can't afford to go out for even a simple meal.