Thursday, August 9, 2012

London: Hugs and Handshakes in the World's Most Amazing City

Okay, one of the world's most amazing cities. The place never ceases to amaze me. My main objectives were to make contact with the car hire company and confirm all details with the 9-seater van: done. And check in with the folks at the Hyde Park Hilton: also done. And walk the area for good London-experience places for our breakfasts and dinners: also done (had to sample the cuisine to make sure it was worthy of my guests--how I sacrifice myself). And post a book order to Isle of Lewis Scotland to some wonderful readers up in God's country: done. And a dozen or so other things: done.

It is amazing to see and feel the hand of God when traveling alone. Bustling past me on all sides, in the tube, on the street, at the shop, or restaurant, or hotel, is a mass of humanity, many even most of whom don't look like they're having a particularly jolly time of it. Frantically trying to fill the emptiness with more emptiness. While wearing the most radical hairdos, miniskirts, and tattoos imaginable.

When you're traveling with others you talk with them, but when you're alone you tend to strike up conversations with more of the locals. Troyin from Nigeria, for example, who packaged up and shipped the books for me. There was something about him right off. I know, I know, everybody says that sort of thing after finding out the other person is a Christian. "Born again," Troyin assured me, leaning close and gripping my hand, and giving me the warmest, whitest African smile.

Then there was the street preacher standing across the street from the Metropolitan Tabernacle where CH Spurgeon used to proclaim the gospel. What boldness! Flanked by indifference and by head-shaking scorn, this fellow proclaimed Jesus to the crowds (check your Bible; the vast majority of evangelism modeled in the Bible is more like what this zealous man was shamelessly engaged in). I went up to him and shook his hand and encouraged him to keep preaching Jesus (a giant like him needed a wimp like me to give encouragement?). "What a friend we have in Jesus," he began loudly singing, putting his arm around me. I put mine around his and sang with him. Till my bus came. Which wasn't very long. Nevertheless, I felt the thrilling wonder of the oneness of the body of Christ.

Here were two men I did not know and we're grinning at each other and hand shaking and hugging like we're long lost brothers... Which, in fact, we are. Love this city! And want to see and know more brothers in it.

3 comments:

  1. I miss London! And their evangelism!

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  2. I'm so glad this is your experience so far. I was in London in June and what I experienced bore no resemblance to what I'd expected. It was wonderful! I too had the privilege of speaking with a man who was handing out tracts - the amazing thing was that he barely had any English. I was so humbled by what he was doing - this man with barely a word of the native language was doing was he could to further God's kingdom. (And what do I do?? :/ ).
    Thank you so much for posting the books.... can't wait!
    Have a wonderful time in our country - even if you are missing out on the best part of it ;)
    A

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  3. Hello!! Our family read your posts last night and so enjoyed reading about all of your experiences!! Isle of Lewis eh? I am guessing I know who that was;)!!! Well we are praying for a wonderful time of blessings for all! Thanks so much for providing this opportunity for your 'tour' guests!
    The Adams Clan

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