A few weeks ago I went to visit The Sanctuary in Ilkley. It is simply a place to pray for the world set up by two women who felt called to leave their jobs, move hundreds of miles and set it up. It isn’t fancy or complicated – but it glows with integrity and faithfulness. A cup of tea is always available for anyone who wants to come in a join them in expressing love for the world. I won’t attempt to tell their story here (but if you’re interested you can find it on their website : http://www.thesanctuarycentre.org )
What impressed me almost more than anything about The Sanctuary was its smallness. Liz and Jill are extremely gifted and creative people. They really should be famous- but instead they are faithfully drawing others to join them in expressing love for the world in a small space in a small town, resisting the urge to think that something bigger would be better. I like that.
I also like ninja angels. This was an idea sparked in a discussion of a group of young people several years ago who wanted to find ways to do random acts of kindness. It could have been just a great idea but they put it into practice. And it usually wasn’t random. It was showing love and encouragement to people in situations of real need without looking for any thanks or acknowledgment. It was selfless love, God’s love. (You can find them on twitter @Ninja_Angels)
Inspired by them, I still try to pass the ninja angel spirit on, when I remember to make time for it, whether it’s a note or chocolate or something else. The other week, I sent a ninja angel to my hairdresser in the post after she told me about some heartache. (Is it just me, or do hairdressers tell you things like that, too?)
This is actually a lot of fun but it won’t change the world. Or will it? Small acts of love, the decision to look beyond our own concerns, joining with God in filling the world with messages of hope… Could something as small as that change the world?
Thanks for your latest Prayer Stair post, and the link to The Sanctuary. It is a long time since I first heard of ‘random acts of kindness’, which I have always appreciatd – glad to new it persists in new forms too.
Thanks for the news for John about Frankie and Hazel. We were sorry to hear about Frankie’s being in hospital, and about the difficulties this caused for Hazel. We have them both in our prayers.
Sorry about the lack of a suitable venue for your planned youth event in March. I was wondering about cheaper options, too, but they may involve self catering. I expect you have tried the Emmaus Centre at Wydale (York Diocesan House) in Scarborough. Rydale Hall, Ambleside, has facilities for Camping which look interesting – though not in March! I saw about the RC Youth Village in Consett on the web, and it mentioned that outside groups could make contact. The RA used to keep a list of facilities esp appropriate for young people, but a lot of those have disappeared, so I’m not sure what the current situation is. I expect you have spoken to Alison. It must be very frustrating, when you are ready to go ahead, but can’t find a venue. John and I are having a good time at school and church nativity plays and concerts – Benedict’s is tomorrow afternoon, then we are looking after the other grandchildren in the evening. We have had a couple of fun sessions making paper chains, stars and angels. I am sure things are busy for you and yours. Blessings Judith