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Faith, hope and love in the life of the person sitting next to you

Joan‘It can be deadly living rough. You’re not safe anywhere. Anyone can come and kick you or stab you. People can be on drink or drugs, they can be out of control. No-one is safe. If I wasn’t in the shelter tonight, I’d probably be sleeping out in some church grounds, or somewhere a bit warm, an underground car park or a squat. I look back on my life sometimes and think it went wrong somewhere.’

‘We knew Mum would be traumatised when we told her Dad had died. We got my aunt, her sister, to come in and tell her.  Mum was visibly upset but only for about five minutes. Then it was forgotten. The next day we had to tell her again, that she’d lost the love of her life. The shock of bereavement all over again. It would be kinder not to tell her again, better that she didn’t know than that she knew for a few minutes, then forgot and had to know it all again.’

‘Twenty years after the war, I asked him, ‘What did you think when I stood up from behind that rock and waved and you recognised me?’ ‘To tell you the truth,’ he said. ‘I thought you were another German and I had you in my sights with my finger on the trigger but I suddenly thought, no, I don’t want to do any more killing, and so I didn’t pull the trigger.’

‘For years I no longer engaged with formal religion but something in me was still seeking and one day I was drawn to a Quaker Meeting House, a place where I could sit in silence, a place where it didn’t matter if no-one spoke. It connected with something deep inside me. I arrive, sit down, take a deep breath and sometimes I find I travel to a place of deep interior stillness,  I reach a place beyond words, beyond thought, a place of utter peace where time stands still.’

The Gospel According to Everyone, Volume II
Cost £5 + £1.50 p&p

(i-Book and Kindle edition coming shortly)

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