Some more reflections on my loitering times as I realise I have been fairly quiet on this front for a couple of weeks. This is, in the main, because things seem to happen very very slowly at an almost unnoticeable rate until you have a chance to sit back and reflect. When I do this it becomes quite clear that things have moved significantly in some ways.
Its seems to me that my experience goes in cycles. There are bouts of walking into places, being welcomed enthusiastically, and joining in with conversations and general life. This is balanced by other times when I can see the tumbleweed blow through the place as people turn to look the other way and pretend that I am not there. I’ve noticed the phases seem to go about 3 weeks of conversation followed by 10 days or so of tumbleweed. I wonder if these phases will change as relationships get stronger and real friendships start to form.
I wonder if that is a pretty normal cycle for this kind of ministry – I’m not sure as there are not that many people to ask! I also wonder whether there is nothing going on here at all and that it is all just my personal perception. I wonder if it is like when you walk into a room and it goes quiet, and you immediately start to think everyone was talking about you when nothing is further from the truth.
It seems that I have just come through a tumbleweed phase and are moving back into a phase of conversation. I wonder if people naturally chat to a certain level and then retreat a little to see what will happen, observe to see whether I can be trusted with the stuff they have shared. I guess that is quite a natural thing to do. I wonder if building relationships in this way is a series of tests – I say I am not out to bible bash people or drag them into church or tell them what to think – and so people naturally want to test that in their own way to see if that is the truth.
I am kind of looking forward to this week. I am wondering what God will bring across my path as, if I look, there always seems to be something that quite often surprises me.