Solo

As a teenager, my hero was the sailor/adventurer Ellen MacArthur, who became the youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo. I had started sailing and, to me, this adventurer was incredible. Transfixing, even.

I knew what it was to be sailing in less than ideal conditions, alone in a boat. Yet, I was never really alone. We always had 2 instructors on the water in a rescue boat who could come alongside at any moment. As I’ve grown older I have come to realise that, whilst my hero was in the boat on her own, she wasn’t totally solo. There were support teams at the end of a radio, race marshals and rescue teams nearby whenever possible.

This got me thinking, are we ever truly solo?

I often go out for solo walks, to mull things over, to quieten my busy brain, to be alone. And yet, even then, I don’t walk solo. I walk with the voices and experiences of my life, lived in relationship with other people. I may walk solo, but I carry with me the wholeheartedness of a non-solo life.

It’s impossible to escape it, really. For me, even when I am physically solo, I walk with Jesus spiritually. I carry relationships and interactions, past and present, with me emotionally.

Sometimes in the noise of life, I think solo might be preferable… but then I remember, we weren’t made to live life solo. We were made to live life in connection with others – even if we need to escape to the solitude for a little while.

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New Year, New You?

It’s the first day of the New Year and my various email inboxes has been inundated with sales and offers all generated to muster up this image of new me. This new me is, as based on the 25 or so emails I’ve received from various companies, a requisite of human existence. Now, I am far from the perfect person: I get cross, I nitpick, I fall into the trap of being too ‘busy’ for others, I lack generosity of thought towards others. Clearly, I am not such a good person. In fact, you could say, there is much room for improvement.

But when is enough enough? Which of these many emails with offers of help for self-improvement will finally allow me to be a better version of myself? I have lost count of the money wasted on gym plans unused, recipe plans uncooked and self-help books unread.

In all likelihood and in reality, none of these supposed fixes possess the power to improve myself… at least, not in the way that I need improving. In all likelihood and reality, I will finish 2023 the same weight as I am now, wearing the same clothes, with the same hairstyle and the same penchant for late nights, chocolate binging and Netflix.

I have been fooled over many years into believing that there is something fundamentally wrong with almost everything about me and my behaviour. I am fatally flawed and so, as each new year arrives, I make unsustainable promises to myself about exercise and food, my appearance, my emotions. I have been conditioned by companies to believe that there is something that needs to be fixed in my life… and, crucially, I have wrongly believed that they have the antidote.

Over the last few years, though, I have come to realise that this is not the case. Don’t worry. I am not delusional; I am well aware of my imperfections. However, I have become more aware that the shame I feel around my body, or my mental health, or my behaviour when I am under pressure, or even just my neurodivergent-related organisational problems, will not be solved by the very companies who have spent so much of my life conditioning that shame into being. I have become more aware that my imperfection does not require a new me each January. It’s not that I don’t wish to change, or even that I don’t think I need to change. It’s that I know that a new me isn’t strictly for a new year. It’s that I want to get off the treadmill where I am sold an idea as though it is a necessity.

And yet, I am hopeful for some change, because I know that within me there is a great desire for good change. There is a desire to be kinder (to myself and others), to go deeper into relationships, to grow into myself and my voice whilst maintaining humility. There is a desire for change that lasts and that matters; there is a desire for a change, not of my dress size, but of my heart size.

I am hopeful that, as I spend more time with my bible and praying, that I might become more aware of the magnitude of God’s love for me. I am hopeful that, as I become more aware of that love, I might feel less shame around the things which hold me back. I am hopeful that God will do the work on my heart if I would only allow him in. I am hopeful that I will be less nitpicky, less busy, less cross and more generous. Not because it’s a new year and new me, but because God is enlarging my heart and calling me to be more like the me he created me to be. He is calling me to be more like him, to be with him.

New year, new me? No. It’s a new year, same me. But this year, I am hopeful that God will continue to draw me close to him, that I may know my true worth lies not in the quick fixes offered by companies, but in his inescapable heart-enlarging love for me.

Happy New Year!

Yesterday’s Promises

Lost
shouting
screaming
wondering
“Where are you?”

You said
you’d never leave
and yet

Are you there?
Do you hear me?
Do you care?

Then
a whisper
a reminder painted
across the sky
prisms
of colour
point to the promises of yesterday
a stranger
sent from you

Declares
God is good.
Look

to the cross.

Yesterday’s Promises, by Olivia Haines
26/9/2022
Luke 24: 13-35
Image: Preach the Story, 2019

Arise

Lift your eyes,
Look up,
Daughter of Abraham.

Lift your eyes,
Be free,
Daughter of mine.

Valued you always were,
Beloved you always are,
Cherished you always will be.

Worth more than the sparrow,
More than the ox,
More than the scorn of religious men.
Lift your eyes.
Rise up.

Follow me.
Delight in me.
And arise.
With me.

Arise, by Olivia Haines
21/10/2020
Luke 13.10-17
Image: Barbara Schwarz, OP, “Jesus and the Bent Over Woman,” acrylic on canvas, 2014.

Find Where You Belong

I was scrolling through the blogosphere when an advert came up for the British Army. I’m pretty open to their cause and have a strange affinity because I grew up with a parent serving in the British Army. But something in me winced at this advert.

You see, their advertising has always been targeted but now it’s reaching into the hearts of the many people who have a sense of missing something. It reaches into the heart of the person who feels as though they don’t belong by offering them the one thing they want: a place to belong.

What does it mean to truly belong?

Often people allow fitting in and belonging to become interchangeable, when they actually sit opposite to one another. Fitting in is about changing yourself to be accepted – to fit in you can’t necessarily be yourself. On the other hand, belonging is about being yourself and being accepted and embraced anyway.

It’s because of this distinction, I think, that so many of us have felt that sense of not belonging at some point in our lives. And, oh what sweet relief, when we finally find people we can be real with, be entirely ourselves with. The joy of true friendship has been when I’ve completely messed up. That sounds strange, but it is so freeing to have people who we can turn to and say, “I seriously screwed up here,” and know that they’ll stand by us anyway. And yet, the problem with finding belonging in the people around us, or in our jobs, or our homes, is that these things inevitably shift and change. I know that I’ve loved moving house and yet, I’ve struggled with the shift in relationships. My friends are still my friends, even 100 miles away, but it isn’t the same. I don’t belong in that place anymore and that is uncomfortable.

True belonging

For me (and for millions of others around the world), the truest belonging is found in relationship with Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how badly I screw up, I can always turn to Him. It’s not without challenge, as we constantly reflect on our lives and little by little try to live better. My relationship with Jesus has changed so much over the last 30 years, but not because he has changed. Rather, he’s changed me. I’ve shifted and grown, and yet Jesus has stayed the same. His constant unchanging presence and truth has enabled me to find a deep sense of belonging that isn’t on offer anywhere else.

At the heart of belonging is Jesus’ offering of grace. It is this grace which allows us the space to be imperfect, to love and live imperfectly and yet to somehow belong at the same time. The world is full of imperfect people, living imperfectly and yet trying to mask their imperfections through literal or digital filters. This is dangerous, not least because filters lead to a lack of grace for ourselves, but also towards others. It’s dangerous because we slowly view ourselves through that lens of judgement and shame.

“If only they knew what you were really like…”

“If everyone knew what you did…”

“If only they knew who you really were…”

When we view ourselves through this lens, there isn’t a lot of room for grace… and there isn’t a lot of room for belonging either. This is fitting in, holding up the filter, hoping it never falls. Brene Brown says, “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” Today, it truly is an act of courage to openly be imperfect… but to do so requires the truest sense of belonging.

Belonging in community

The other thing about finding true belonging in Jesus, abundantly surrounded by grace, is that it roots itself in community. The church doesn’t always get it right, but at its best it is trying to create that grace-filled space for people to enter into and to belong. Unfortunately, many Christians are the harshest judges, refusing to extend even the slightest amount of grace they themselves have received. But my hope is we can do better.

My hope is that we might be people who accept Jesus’ invitation into relationship with him because, when we do, we accept his invitation for grace and love; we accept his invitation to find an eternal belonging. A belonging that doesn’t shift. A belonging that isn’t dependent upon life’s circumstances.

My prayer is that we might be people who extend that grace to other people so they might also find belonging, and learn to drop the mask.

Welcome. Please, come in. You won’t find perfect people here, but we hope you will find belonging.

A Garden of Roses

A whole year ago I wrote in my diary one question: Will I make it to one year?

This was because I had already begun to struggle with the cost of unpaid ordained ministry juggled with my paid job (teaching) and wider family life too. I sat with one of our bishops and shared that the pattern wasn’t sustainable and that I wasn’t sure if I’d make it to the end of my first ordained year, never mind to the end of my curacy.

Well, I made it to one year… but in a way unimaginable this time last year.

I had hoped there might be a stipend (paid role) for me, an investment in me, an imaginative solution to the problem of the ever-increasing over-stretching of self.

Did I think I’d find it in rural Shropshire?

No.

I’d never visited the place, not even for a day trip – though I came dangerously close on a road trip once upon a time.

But an invitation was extended… to follow Jesus to Shropshire, that I might find space to grow into myself as a minister, wife and mum.

“But I heard less of the crazy talk and a lot more of the wise talk and I was hopeful enough to keep listening until the day I found myself transformed into an entire garden of roses.”
Mary Oliver, Rumi

The poet, Mary Oliver, expresses the kind of total life transformation that somehow takes us completely by surprise. As the protagonist follows the famous fellow with “long beard and dusty feet”, they linger on, listening with hope.

There is no indication of time lapsed between this hopeful following and the transformation, and yet we know that time must have lapsed. A garden of roses takes time. A garden of roses requires patience and imagination. It requires careful pruning and a skilled gardener. It requires love.

The same too for our lives, as we accept the invitation to follow Jesus. It will bring transformation, some of which may be sudden and immediately noticeable, much of which we will only notice when we’re surrounded by the roses.

A whole year ago I couldn’t have imagined much of how the 12 months would unfold. There was a lot of pain, as the pruning and cutting back has taken place. But there’s also been joy and laughter in abundance. That’s life, I suppose. A mixture of painful thorns amongst beautiful roses. I am just so very thankful for the patient gardener working in my life.

The most loving gardener.

His name is Jesus and he invites you to follow him into hope.

We Don’t Talk About Bruno, no, no, no!

Ah, Bruno!

Let’s be honest… when we hear about prophecies, visions and strange murmurings, we either think of Bruno or we are reminded of the series of seemingly strange men in the Old Testament. If you’ve got a child under 18, are a Disney fan, or perhaps have even just looked at music charts in the last few weeks, you’ll no doubt have picked up on this (very) catchy song from Disney’s newest offering: Encanto. Bruno is introduced as a strange family member who can’t help but apparently ruin the lives of those around him… or so they say.

In case you haven’t seen the film, it centres on a family who have each been given as children. Each of these gifts helps the family and the community. Most of the gifts are pretty cool (super human strength, for example), but Bruno’s gift – the gift of prophesy and truth telling – appears to be more of a curse. So much so, he spends most of the film missing in action and has an entire song dedicated to telling us all why they don’t even talk about him. Despite their best efforts to paint this picture of Bruno as a mad-man, in reality he is no more mad than the rest, with their strange ways and powers. He is, put simply, a truth teller. And, for some, the truth is scary.

Bruno isn’t, though, the first truth teller to have ever existed. There have been many truth tellers in the past, and many exist today. In the church, we call them prophets. Prophets are people who speak truth into situations, pointing people back to God even in the most difficult of times. In the Bible, we meet many prophets who speak truth about certain situations, often to their own great danger. For example, we see Daniel literally fed to the lions because he refuses to bow down to a different god. We meet Moses, who tells Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people leave their bondage in Egypt, chased by a ferocious army. John the Baptist comes and warns people that the Kingdom of God is coming and they must repent, turn back to God and be baptised. Eventually, he ends up being beheaded and his head being served on a silver platter.

To be a prophet is dangerous work. It is to face the wind head on, and point to Jesus, no matter what’s happening. It is to stand up and tell the truth, even if you know the people hearing your message aren’t going to like it. It is to challenge and to hold both mirror and window up to society: a mirror so people can see the reality of their actions; a window so people can glimpse something of the goodness of God in their situation. As I said previously, people don’t often like the truth. It rocks the boat and disempowers the status quo.

Each year, in Lent, I think of the prophets who came before Jesus, who gave up everything to point people towards his coming. I think of the people who I’ve met in my lifetime, who bear the cost of pointing others towards Jesus, challenging behaviour and demanding better of the people around them. This Lent, let us pray for more prophets and truth tellers; for more people who point us towards Jesus, no matter the cost. May we raise up children who are fierce in pursuit of the truth, and fervent in their love for Christ. Amen.

Notes for talking to children: many of the short reflections I am releasing over Lent use songs that children will likely know well. Please feel free to use them to talk to your child/ren about Jesus and faith. Prophets is particularly tricky, as they may have questions about whether the prophets in the Old Testament had eyes that glowed green and could they tell if someone’s fish was about to die – as in Encanto. However, the focus, I think, is on a) the keeping close to God and developing that listening ear to hear what God is saying and b) the speaking of truth, even when that might be really hard. As ever, honesty, openness and authenticity is key with our child/ren. They often teach us more than we teach them.

About Her: Hilary Hopwood

This week we hear from Hilary Hopwood, a retired French teacher in the North of England. Her school was one of the first nationally to gain the International Schools Award, and she was invited by the British Council to help pioneer this award in India, and to serve on their adjudication panels for both the international School Award and the Global Curriculum Award. Locally, Hilary has served as chair and now co-chair of East Meets West – Women of Faith Together. Formed in 2006, East meets West aims to bring together women living in the Lancaster area who have different faiths and cultural backgrounds, mostly Christian and Moslem, but welcome participation from all faiths. Their current programme includes Healthy Living Project, swimming sessions and many other activities to enjoy together. 

Q1. How do you pray?
Silently, or out loud, mostly as part of my devotional rhythm which involves liturgy, Bible reading, reading reflections and meditations, and intercessions. If I have a particular person or issue on my mind I will shoot up ‘arrow prayers’ at regular intervals throughout the day. I like both set prayers and to pray spontaneously.

Q2. How do you read the Bible?
It depends on what I have chosen as a structure. For a few years I followed the lectionary which included daily readings from Old and New Testaments and the psalms around a theme. If it was the OT I often carried on reading beyond the prescribed passage because I wanted to follow the story! Also I have often found that the set readings leave out the gory bits or sections that appear to conflict with modern mores and I like to read them too. I don’t want a sanitized version of the Bible. I rarely use a commentary but wish I knew Greek and Hebrew so that I could have a better understanding of the original text. My current structure, a new one that I like very much, only gives one or two verses from OT and NT and psalms which don’t provide the context so I frequently read the verses before and after to get a better idea.

Q3. What’s your favourite Bible verse for this season?
 I don’t have one, and the notion of favourite verses doesn’t mean much to me either. Of course many verses are well known and were learned in my childhood, and I do feel a certain affection for them but I am aware that there is plenty in the Bible I have not yet read. But knowing some verses by heart is useful as they offer inspiration and guidance.

Q4. What songs are you singing at the moment?
The songs I sing with my choir, especially as we have a zoom rehearsal every week. I have also played and sung songs I wrote years ago. Sometimes old choruses from my youth and hymns come to mind and I sing them in my head. We exercise to music and the range is everything from classical to rock, folk, pop and jazz.

Q5. What is bringing you joy in lockdown?
Simple pleasures! Everything from gardening to cooking, cycling, Netflix, Whatsapp calls and texts, Zoom conferences with my family, community group (East Meets West), and choir, and reconnecting with our former church in London online. I am more in touch with old friends from childhood than ever before. In fact thinking about these questions is making me realise how much the past is feeding me during lockdown!

I also enjoy my daily video chats with the asylum seeker I support. The relationships within our community group have further developed through the lockdown and that is a real source of mutual joy and blessing. I would say the same about my weekly calls to my aged aunt, and occasional calls to a cousin who lives alone and whom I rarely had contact with prior to the lockdown. Generally it is the peace and quiet, the regular rhythm of life, the increased contact with nature and the wonderful weather that I am enjoying.

How about you? I love that idea of the past feeding us in the present. I’m not sure I’d been aware of it. Who could you reconnect with at this time? I’m going to make sure I ring my grandma more regularly.

About Her: Brenda Kanyasi

Today About Her goes overseas to Mombasa, Kenya to hear from Brenda Kanyasi. Brenda is the admin office manager at Tumaini School (set up by Education for Life) , and lives in the community nearby. Brenda is involved in school and her church activities. She loves kids and has tremendous compassion for families in need. Brenda is hugely knowledgeable and wise, she is also very humble and loves to see people succeed.

Q1. How do you pray?
I do find a silent place where I can’t get interrupted, that is either lock myself in the room, sit or sometimes kneel down,sometimes a too lazy and when lying down I do pray too. I always do a thanks giving prayer or  a request prayer. Sometimes, I do it silently in my heart either when at work or just busy with work.

Q2. How do you read the Bible?
Honestly I have someone from church that sends me every days reading on my WhatsApp so that helps me easily each day to get the reading or either like now sometimes I get also from different friends sharing the reading of every Sunday on WhatsApp and this helps me easily to read the Bible.

Sometimes I read books or motivational stories where people share testimonies and bible verses, I use different types of methods to read the Bible.

Q3. What’s your favourite Bible verse for this season?
Psalm 23.

Q4. What songs are you singing at the moment?
Praise and worship songs eg a song called I have no other God than you. You have done what no man has done, you will do what no man can by Nathaniel Bassey.

Q5. What is bringing you joy in lockdown?
I can still get my salary which helps me put food on my table and support the family and I am still safe and believe I will be safe from the virus. 

Being able to support at least one poor family during this season despite the little I provide but seeing the smile on their face makes me feel happy and blessed.

I am trying to keep in touch with friends, trying to spend most of my time with children at the orphanage: working together, chatting, praying together and watching games that they do during free time and join in where I can.

I also do some work (job duties) to help me feel normal.

Massive thanks to Brenda for sharing her everyday faith in this time. A wonderful reminder that the church of God is not bound by country borders. Perhaps today you can spend some time reading Psalm 23 – by yourself, or with a friend – and asking God to remind you of how he shepherds you. Or widen your playlist and listen to more from Nathaniel Bassey here.

Encountering God: An Ordinand’s Sermon Pt2

I call this An Ordinand’s Sermon Part 2, because it follows on from a sermon I preached to my formation group at college in February last year. It’s funny, because whilst this sermon is not on the same passage of scripture, it seems (to me, anyway) to be the perfect part 2. God’s funny like that, isn’t he?

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

(John 21: 1-19)

“I’m going fishing,” says Peter, utterly fed up and craving normality. Life has not turned out the way he had thought, when he said ‘yes’ to following Jesus 3 years earlier. He had said ‘yes’ to becoming a fisher of men, ‘yes’ to being taught, ‘yes’ to an adventure with Jesus. And yet, here he was, despondent. “I’m going fishing.” Peter’s urge is to get back to normality, back to reality. So, he goes back to what he knows best. Fishing.

But God has other plans. As they are fishing on the boat, having caught nothing all night, someone calls out from the shore, “Put your nets out on the other side.” They do. And the fish fill the nets. And then it comes. The whisper. “It’s Jesus.” Overjoyed at the sight of his friend, his teacher, his saviour, Peter jumps out of the boat and rushes to meet Jesus on the beach. The others follow as quickly as they can. They drag their enormous catch ashore, but there’s no need… Jesus has already prepared some for them. He smiles and says, “Alright lads… fancy some breakfast?”

They sit and eat, and then we see the remarkable encounter between Peter and Jesus, with Peter’s reinstatement mirroring his denial of his friend. It is beautiful to see Jesus once again stretch out a hand and ask Peter to follow him. And nerving, no doubt, as Peter is told that one day he will go where he is led, and not where he wishes. Still, it’s clear. In the person of Jesus, Peter encounters God on that beach. And in that encounter he is transformed once more, before being sent out.

But this isn’t the first time. If we look back at John 20: 21-22, Peter encounters the risen Jesus and he transforms him with God’s peace and with the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Encountered. Transformed. Sent.

When I preached previously from Luke 5: 1-11, we saw how Peter had an encounter with Jesus, that led to his transformation and a sending out. There is no doubt, that Peter has already been called out of his old life, into a new one. It’s like an old pair of boots that have been worn out and are no longer wearable. We get a new pair of boots. But we can’t put the new boots on over the top of our old boots, nor can we put the old boots on instead of the new boots. They might feel comfortable at first, because we’ve worn them in, but our old boots are no longer fit for the purpose for which they were made. They’re broken. Our new boots, as strange as they might feel, these are the boots which are fit for purpose. Peter went back to the old, back to the comfortable, the fishing. But he is no longer a fisherman. His old life is no longer fit for the purpose for which he has been transformed.

Encountered. Transformed. Sent.

Of course, the same goes for us here today. We were all called to St Mellitus in September 2018. We could have gone to countless other colleges, or put training on hold a few more years. But we didn’t. God called us to train together at the same time as each other. And in that training he has been forming us. Of course, the forming and transforming continues, but this time together has been key to forming us for ordained ministry in the Church of England. The late night bar chats, the 2am McDonalds runs, the worship, the prayer, the tears and snot, the dodgy vegetarian options and the mind-melting bogglement of theological education have all formed us. And if just 1 of us hadn’t been here for the journey, it wouldn’t have quite been the same. We were called together for this time, we have been transformed, and now you are being sent.

So, as you leave college – some of us have another year, because we need that extra bit of formation – and step out into your new lives as ordained disciples of Jesus Christ, shake off your old boots and slip into the new ones. Your old lives are no longer fit for the purpose for which you have been called. And when the discomfort hits, as it usually does with a new pair of shoes, remember Jesus’ words to Peter: “Someone else will take you where you don’t want to go. Follow me.”

I would want a boat, if I wanted a
boat, that bounded hard on the waves,
that didn’t know starboard from port
and wouldn’t learn, that welcomed
dolphins and headed straight for the
whales, that, when rocks were close,
would slide in for a touch or two,
that wouldn’t keep land in sight and
went fast, that leaped into the spray.
What kind of life is it always to plan
and do, to promise and finish, to wish
for the near and the safe? Yes, by the

heavens, if I wanted a boat I would want
a boat I couldn’t steer.
(Mary Oliver, If I Wanted A Boat)

That is my prayer for us all. As we encounter God, he transforms us and sends us out. May we follow him, even to the rocks. May we get into that boat that is his alone to steer.

Amen.