Things I saw on my way to work this morning

  • A huge, dead rat on the street down from my flat.
  • A man on a bicycle, hitting a submerged pothole and going straight over the handlebars into a puddle of dirty water.
  • An old woman picking out food from a rubbish bin and storing it carefully in a plastic bag.
  • The bus driver spitting out the window.
  • A man playing a marimba.
  • Neatly dressed Jehovah’s Witnesses beside their stand of literature.
  • The street cleaner at the bottom of my street. I sure hope he got to the rat.
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Conversation in a taxi

So a week or two back I had the usual conversation in a taxi.

Taxi driver: You’re not from around here.

Me: No, I’m from Scotland.

TD: So you like it here?

Me: Yes, I’m very happy.

TD: Married?

Me: No.

TD: So no one has your heart?

Me: [thinking: I’m a missionary, I’d better make something of this opportunity] Well, God has my heart, I guess.

And the taxi driver took his hands off the wheel and gave me a round of applause!

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Slowing down

Over Christmas I read an interesting book called The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith.

It is a kind of discipleship course with practical exercises, one of which is simply to stop hurrying.

Last Friday I was packing up at the end of the day and I was hurrying because the city gets busier later in the day and I wanted to get home to rest. Just then, I remembered the book and I deliberately slowed down, washing my cup with care, leaving my desk nice and tidy, and switching the photocopier off.

I left the office a minute or two later than usual and as a result bumped into a friend from the seminary who told me about a ministry that might be interested in buying our materials.

So slowly does it, from now on.

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Things I’ve seen recently (2)

Not through the window of a taxi but online.

The FARC rebels’ final march.

Spare these men and women a thought (whatever your views on the rights and wrongs of the peace deal).

They are marching toward a very uncertain future in civilian life and as participants of mainstream politics.

The last time a left-wing group tried to enter mainstream politics, in the 1980s, between 3500 and 5000 of its members were murdered by right-wing death squads.

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