On one of my early pilgrimages to the Holy Land (over thirty years ago), I was taught about the IBM method of survival in an Arabic country. I continue to take this nugget with me when I journey forth. It is: “I” – Inshallah (As God wills it); “B” – Bukrah (if not today, maybe tomorrow); and “M” – Malesh (oh well, it wasn’t that important after all). Events don’t always unfold as planned. If we are too set on our own expectations, we may miss the special gift God has prepared for us. So, venture forth with an open heart and mind. Be mindful of the little gifts of grace that appear on your path. From heavy rain, to transit delays, Queen Elizabeth II death, and positive COVID tests and subsequent quarantine we have had plenty of time to be alert for God’s presence. For me, that included seeing the First Episcopal Church in Glasgow and the first to have an organ. A Presbyterian minister is reported to have referred to the church as a “den of sinners” which gave rise to play on words and a story about “the whistling organ”.
Another moment included singing the National Anthem at dinner on our first night in York. The entire public space became silent as we sang “God save the King”.
We gathered to sing to the glory of God in the hallway of the hotel. The impromptu concert made friends of strangers and an opportunity to share God’s love. And always, beautiful stained glass, powerful liturgy, and prayer in places where Christians have gathered for over 2000 years to share God’s love in times of joy and times of sorrow.