God who meets us in our Loungerooms

We’ve been focusing on homelessness this last little while at Coatesville.
As part of thinking about homelessness, we’ve been spending some time pondering what “home” means to us.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve focused on a different part of the house each sunday.
These prayers are part of those reflections.

When our work is done, loving God,
the work that we have to do
and the work that we want to do,
When there are not miles to go before we sleep
but a gentle stroll down the hall,
When there are no roads still to travel,
no dishes still to do,
when all have been fed and bathed and changed
and we stand,
gently rubbing our temples as we ease tomorrow from our minds
We wander, in ones and twos and fives
into a place of rest and re-creation,
We ease tired backs into well worn positions on favourite chairs
And if there is a little guilt
about that call not made,
that client not helped,
that document not attended to,
that last pot still soaking in the sink
You are there to meet us and calmly dismiss our worries
“I gave you a world of land and sea and sky
of wine and water
of grain and fruit and milk and honey
of animals to eat , to work, to befriend, to fear.
I gave you such beauty,
but my last,
greatest gift
was rest.”
And as we let go,
In this place of recreation,
we re-create our lives for each other.
In stories told and heard,
Our eyes crease in laughter,
or anxiety,
In this place of rest
we dare to share our fears and worries,
we shyly admit to our hopes and dreams.
In this place
Because we are safe
We pick up a phone,
turn on the TV or connect to the internet,
and let the stories of others find us.
And perhaps, loving God,
as we share encouragement and joy
or are moved to concern and pity
You look upon us in this place of story and rest
and say once more “This is good”.


Source: Gareth

God who Meets us in our Bedrooms

We’ve been focusing on homelessness this last little while at Coatesville.
As part of thinking about homelessness, we’ve been spending some time pondering what “home” means to us.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve focused on a different part of the house each sunday.
These prayers are part of those reflections.

Loving God,
You know us better than we know ourselves.
When we wake in the morning,
If we drowsily open an eye,
running it around the room while we decide 
whether to close it again or to open the other,
or
If the clock radio explodes into sound beside our heads
catapulting us up and through the door,
You are there to greet us with warmth and love.
While we stand in front of our wardrobes,
scratching our head while we decide  what we need
to protect and armour us against the travails of the day
You are there, whispering gently that
your love and comfort will protect us,
and that this decision will not define us.
And later,
after the day has been lived
and won, or lost, or drawn
When the darkness sets in,
and massaging our weary temples
we shed our armour
and let our head hit the pillow
You are there Holy One,
watching over us in our dreams,
bringing comfort if the nightmares come.
You know us better than we know ourselves,
And still you choose us.
And still you love us.
Maybe we should follow suit….
Amen


Source: Gareth

God who meets us in our Kitchens

We’ve been focusing on homelessness this last little while at Coatesville.
As part of thinking about homelessness, we’ve been spending some time pondering what “home” means to us.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve focused on a different part of the house each sunday.
These prayers are part of those reflections.

When we stumble from our bedrooms
wiping sleep from our eyes,
grimacing as our feet hit the cold floor
and flicking on the kettle…
You are there to greet us loving God
You stand beside us
as we take a moment to gaze out the window,
watching the frost retreat down the pane
as the sun begins its relentless advance,
You enjoy with us our moment of solitude before the day begins.
And if we listen,
sometimes we hear your whisper in our ear;
“Whatever happens today – I’m with you.”
And when we cook for the ones we love,
rushing from pan to pot to chopping board
letting the sizzle of bacon and the roaring of the exhaust fan
overwhelm us
trying so hard to cook the most perfect, delicious dish
the very best version of their favourite
because how else will they know that we love them
You are there, calming and soothing us,
saying
“Let it go.  I made you a whole universe one time
and still you sometimes forget I love you.
You always remember,
and so will they…”
And when the kitchen is full to bursting
and voices are loud and space is tight
and we find ourselves squeezing the fridge open
to find another drink,
checking we’re not running out of sauce
And when we sit at the bench with a friend
warming our hands on our mugs as the steam rises
our quiet voices unpicking the threads of hope and sorrow
You are there once more…
Your embrace encompassing our own
In this place of sustenance you sustain.
in this place of provision you provide
in this place of comfort, you give strength.
With us in our kitchens,
we give thanks in the name of Jesus….


Source: Gareth

God who meets us in our Bathrooms

We’ve been focusing on homelessness this last little while at Coatesville.
As part of thinking about homelessness, we’ve been spending some time pondering what “home” means to us.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve focused on a different part of the house each sunday.
These prayers are part of those reflections.

When we arrive home, loving God
When the door closes behind us
we bring the world in.
The ringing of the traffic is still in our ears,
the smell of greasy leftovers dumped on the train seat behind us
still on our clothes
The dirt
which an autumn gust picked up from the ground
and whipped at us like a cosmic game of brandy
is still in our hair.
And as we close the door behind us,
our eyes still wear the sourness of insulted pride
our arms clench tight in anger unaddressed
our lips the buttoned scowl of terrible, hurtful things
we wish we had said
our shoulders wear the guilty burden
of the mean and snarky things we did say.
We cannot walk through this world untouched,
unhindered and unhurt loving God
And so you greet us in our bathrooms,
encouraging us to shed our burdens with our clothes,
your  voice in the cascade of hot water
telling us to let the hurt and anger wash away for now
And as we step out of the shower
meeting our own critical gaze in the mirror
you ask us if all this pride and shame and worry and  meanness
is really worth picking up again and putting on?
“You’re so beautiful without it all,
just the person I created”
God who meets us in our bathrooms
You wash us clean and send us on our way,
Fresh,
with the smile that only freedom brings,
Amen


Source: Gareth