Saturday, June 23, 2018

Surprising burst of sunshine

This morning I enjoyed a full English breakfast (with black pudding) at a Men's Breakfast in my church.  The speaker was Graham Daniels, Director of Christians in Sport (as well as Director of Cambridge United football and a former player) and one of the great Cambridge characters I remember back from when I was minister in the city centre.  He is a winsome, witty, self-deprecating speaker with a wonderful testimony and we all appreciated his words and challenge.

Afterwards I thanked him and reminded him of Colin Baillie an Irish international who captained Cambridge United and, with his wife, attended my church. 'Oh, Colin' he said,'I'm still in touch with him.'  'And Graham and Adrian Daniels who captained the University Rugby team and later played internationally for Wales?" 'Oh, yes, they were great lads. What a great time that was in the mid-80's!'  "Yes,' I replied, 'They were wonderful witnesses in my church'.  Then he paused, looked at me, and asked: 'What is your name?'  When I told him he reached out and held me...of course, he said, I can see now.  And wonderful memories tumbled out. He told me that  I never knew that the first time that he ever spoke at a big church event was when Kriss Akabusi, the sprint, hurdling and field athlete came to Cambridge.  And it happened to be in my church!  'What marvellous things were happening at St. Andrew's Street at that time', he said. 'It seemed to be where everything was happening!'  Well, that was an exaggeration but there is nothing like hearing such enthusiasm from an surprising source.  A burst of sunshine.

But then, gripping me, he said 'Isn't the most wonderful thing that all these years on we are still going on with the Lord.  We are still going strong!'   It's not depending on past memories but our current experience that counts.

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