Walking back from Meeting tonight, I got soaked. Not completely wet-through as my bright red rain coat did its job. But I had left my phone in my jeans pocket instead of my coat pocket and it was really wet. I was able to wring some water out of my jeans when I took them off.
The wind was driving hard too this evening. When I put my hood up, the wind was in competition with me, wanting to blow down my hood. I ended up having to hold onto it, but then my hand got cold.
All this effort was well worth it.
Going the other way in my day, I was over 30 minutes late for Meeting. That’s rather late when Meeting is tentatively scheduled for 45 minutes. It wasn’t my fault – a long day in the office, a broken escalator at Euston and queues to use the stairs, just missing a train at London Bridge (incidentally why call that station London Bridge and not London London Bridge, when we have London Waterloo and London Charing Cross on the same line), a delayed train from London Bridge that went slowly and stopped for an age at New Cross Gate. Then home, a few minutes of rest and recuperation and friendship with L and out into the cold and the wet night.
It wasn’t just for today that going to Deptford Meeting was worth it. There have been times in these last two months when I have been worn and tired out (I still am, looking forward to having next week off) and I’ve not gained from Meeting for Worship at Peckham these last two months, nor as much as I would like at Westminster and when I doorkept things were not much better. What’s been good in all of the dark winter blues has been the routine, keeping going, back to Meeting each week when tired and low.
At Meeting in Deptford tonight I was over 30 minutes late, but I was greeted at the door by Laura and C, the only 4-legged friend that I know to be going regularly to Meeting these days. When I sat down C jumped all over me and I smile grew inside of me as I appreciated her warm, welcoming presence. I sat in the worship pose – back straight, sat up, hands cupped together – that I always start with these days and C licked my hands. Then she sat next to me and I knew what I really wanted to do was tickle her belly. So I did. Nothing earth shattering here, no new revelation, but inside a little voice reminding me that I have the courage to fulfil my goals, to act under conviction, to do what I see to be right, even if that is something tiny like tickling a dog’s belly during worship.
So that was Meeting at Deptford tonight. And as I write, almost dry and about to have a nice cup of tea I’m alright with the world.