What a weekend. Friday evening Andy & Helen Harrington, good friends from Canada (though originally from England) came through on their way to California. It is always wonderful to have time to catch up with friends and Andy and Helen are special people. Andy Harrington heads up Youth For Christ in Vancouver British Columbia, one of the fastest growing and most innovative YFCs in North America which isn’t surprising since Andy is one of the most creative people we know. When we first met Andy and Helen about 12 years ago they had just returned to Britain after planting YFC in the war zones of Croatia and Bosnia. Their passion for helping those at the margins has not diminished. Andy was in Sri Lanka to help after the tsunami and Helen has worked with Hope International in Canada. They are presently developing a partnership with YFC in Rwanda. They were only stayed with us overnight but I was inspired and renewed by our conversation.
No sooner had we waved them goodbye than Tom & I (and Bonnie) jumped in the car and headed over to the Olympic Peninsular. We were not deterred by the 2 hour wait at the ferry and soon arrived to stay at our friend Ardi Erickson’s house just outside Squim. What a beautiful place to relax and renew – which was just what I needed to do. good conversation, good food and some sight seeing around the area made this a wonderful weekend.The one dissonant note occurred as we walked along the waterfront in Port Angeles. In amongst the tall trees and rich green growth was a sign that read “Hollywood business and industrial park coming soon” I was appalled at the thought of this beautiful pristine vegetation being replaced by stark buildings – and this is what we call progress.
Sunday afternoon we headed to Port Townsend for what was the supposed reason for our trip – the wedding of good friends Tim & Cote. It was cold and windy but we still enjoyed the ceremony out on the bluff and the delicious spread that followed. All in all a memorable weekend and one that we could so easily have missed because in the midst of our busy schedule we were not sure that we had time to go away for 2 days. Once again I realize that taking time for friends is not at the periphery of what it means to be a Christian, it is the very heart of it.
This morning as I was reflecting on our weekend I wrote a short prayer that I thought you might enjoy
God we sing for joy this day and rest secure in your promises
Jesus Christ the ruler of all worlds, the shepherd of creation has entered our world
He comes not in power and might but in the gentleness of love
He walks beside us as a friend
Before us as a guide, behind us as a shield
He is not far off where none can touch or see
He is present in all to whom I speak
He is in the voice of all who speak to me
I see him in the face of friends
I hear him in the laughter of love ones
He comes not in power, not in might
But in the gentleness of love
Hallelujah! he is risen from the dead and is everywhere present with us.