Speaking and Hearing

I hope everyone has had a sterling weekend. I wish I had things to tell you about scaling the North Face of the Eiger or being dipped doing the merengue with Steve Martin but it is is a measure of our weekend that the most exciting thing that happened was our first attempt at a “Click and Collect” from Sainsbury’s. Before the Covid inconvenience, I would do a monthly shop on payday to get the stuff from Sainsbury’s that we can’t get anywhere else (including a month’s worth of wine, which can be very heavy, not that there are excessive amounts or anything) and I would get that delivered. Anything else we need in the course of a month, we deal with by having Aldi and Lidl round the corner. Obviously, I can’t get a delivery spot at the moment because more deserving people are in front of me so we thought we would try “Click and Collect”. We have a perfectly good car with one little fault – neither of the front windows open, so, if people need to talk to us, whoever is driving needs to get out of the car. It’s fine – we are used to it Everything seemed all sensible and distanced at Sainsbury’s but when a masked assistant approached the car, it was quite funny watching him press himself against the next-door car as if HOH was getting out with an axe in hand rather than just taking his ticket number.

On Saturday we decided to embrace our age and took bacon barms and a flask up to a local beauty spot – nice and early before the car park filled up with 4x4s and people trying to take four canoes and a paddleboard off their roof racks and trying to stop their pugs eating seagull poo from the waste bins. We got into a very interesting and nostalgic conversation with two Jack Russell owners. We all discussed at length how Jacks can suddenly take against another dog for no reason. Apparently, this is very common and it made us feel better because our Morecambe just used to get a bit snappy whereas this chap’s dog used to go “straight for the Crown Jewels”. Quite.

After a morning cleaning Aged Parent’s kitchen and helping her with putting on a DVD before we left. Actually, we were glad we were leaving because the beginning of the film had much too much jig-a jig for me to deal with – especially being in the same room as my mother. In the end, it turned out to be a Danielle Steele and not quite as bad as it started I think but Head of House was quite traumatised by the whole experience.

This morning we went to church via our sofa. Is anyone back-back yet? I don’t know of anyone who is. I still find it really strange and with the rowing back on the opening up, I don’t suppose people will be back anytime soon. This morning, we watched an old pastor of ours (he’s not old – you know what I mean) He is a great speaker and very normal. It’s a privilege to be able to hear him again. A weird and unexpected good thing to come out of Covid. He asked the question about whether God still speaks to people directly and specifically – outside of the Bible. (Spoiler – he said God did and gave several examples from his own life) If you are interested in hearing him – his name is Andy Caldwell and he preaches on YouTube at Welcome Baptist Church. I’ve had it happen myself. When I was ill many years ago someone told me stuff about me that he couldn’t have possibly known and then the stuff he said would happen did happen. It’s really a good and vital way to live but, for me, I wouldn’t say that it happened often enough. I think that is probably down to me – if you don’t have it’s because you don’t ask, I think they say. Obviously as well, like most Christians, I have been affected by nutters saying that God has told them to tell me to (a) give them all my money (b) dress more modestly (this was usually my cue to take the hem up on my skirt – rebellious that’s me) or (c) marry them. OK, the last one has never happened to me but HOH had a girl from church turn up on his doorstep saying that God had said that she had to tell him that she loved him. I think that God’s involvement was unlikely because HOH didn’t really reciprocate but I think she got over it all pretty quickly because she asked if he was gay then. I have to admit – I admire that level of self-confidence. “If he doesn’t fancy me he must be gay.” Go you!

Anyone else have God speaking directly into situations? But really though. Not because it would be convenient to say so. My favourite story -which I am certain I have shared before is of Joy Davidman – poet and wife of CS Lewis – having a sense of God at her shoulder all day. Thinking she was in trouble – because she knew she had done plenty to deserve it – she ignored the still small voice, constantly shaking it off. But it was so persistent, she thought “Ok, let’s get it over with” and turned to face whatever judgement she was going to get. Only for her to hear a voice saying. “No. I want to give you something.” and then being shown something lovely about who she was before God. I may be underestimating how much I am loved which is my loss. It seems that God is more than willing to tell me about it.



  1. August 3, 2020 / 7:13 am

    It’s altogether too complicated to get back into church just yet. Can’t sing, can’t hug, preacher has to wear a mask… Virtual worship is going fine thank you.
    Yes, I’ve experienced a, b AND c. Being a rebellious and difficult person, I told (a) that they clearly had more money than I so perhaps they should give to me. (b) – someone from Christian Union committee at uni. Said my mini skirt was too short. I said I’d worn it at church the day before and neither the pastor(my Dad) nor any church members had complained. So I was keeping it on. Unless she really was offended by the garment, in which case I’d remove it and walk round in my slip. The next day I wore a different, equally short skirt. (c) I said God had not told me to marry him. And why would he want to marry someone so unspiritual? He replied he was quite a catch, he had a house, a car and his own PIANO.!
    On a more mundane note, I have not even secured a C&C slot yet.

    • lesleyps91
      August 4, 2020 / 8:59 pm

      I can’t imagine preaching in a mask. It must be nigh on physically impossible. Also – to be fair to him – his own piano – now come on…

  2. August 3, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    The highlight, no, let’s be fair, one of the highlights of the past few months was getting a home delivery slot, after months of slightly anxious weeks sourcing food from a variety of places – fruit and veg wholesalers, on-line meat companies, and asking friends to buy this and that during their weekly shops. (I have and auto-immune disease which has caused significant lung fibrosis and I take immuno-suppressants). We were like children in a toy shop, ordering whatever we liked (within reason) as we hadn’t wanted to ask our friends to spend time searching aisles for esoteric comfort foods.

    Yes, I have heard God speak – once he was doing a mixture of calling my bluff ‘Oh Lord, I’m so happy I could kneel and prause you right now’ ‘Well, go on then’ ‘This is a carpark, horribly public, and filthy dirty and I’m wearing a white skirt’ ‘but you said…’ ‘Oh alright then’ and I cowered beside the wheel of the car hoping no-one could see me and muttered ‘Praise you Lord’ and I’m SURE I heard him say ‘Thank you and you’ve forgotten to buy a pay and display parking ticket’.

    The other time was when some friends were praying for me about this disease …
    pause for context – we were on a person-centred prayer ministry training course run a Good Egg called John Leach, and were practising ‘how to do it’ on each other – anyway back to the story –
    … when I was newly diagnosed twenty years ago, and an imaginary scene came into my head of me in a consulting room waiting for the doctor, and he wandered in, looked around, turned to me and said ‘you know, whatever happens, I’ll always be right with you’ and it’s perfectly true, he keeps his promises, and that ‘you can tie to’ as Marilla (or was it Rachel Lynde?) would say in Anne of Green Gables. Makes me sniffle every time I remember.

    • lesleyps91
      August 4, 2020 / 9:03 pm

      That is so lovely. Also, I honestly think that God does speak to us in a normal way. Once, when I had a really difficult job with a bullying boss, I remember being in the warehouse where the radio was and God spoke to me in the line of a pop song. Even now, years later when I hear the song, I can get a bit wobbly

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