"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:3.

Some recollections from my life over the last few months:

  • At The Living Room a homeless visitor tells us of how he looks after other younger rough sleepers, calling them his brothers and showing them safe places to sleep and where to access food.
  • My friends struggling with difficult life situations, depression and anxiety inspire me with their support for each other, perseverance and faith in God. 
  • Volunteers in groups across the area who still face great challenges in life but want to give back to the groups that have helped them and to support others who face the same difficulties they have faced.

God's beauty in our brokenness. The very heart of God's plan for the world is taking situations of pain and despair and turning them into something precious and beautiful. Jesus's innocent suffering on the cross becomes our forgiveness and salvation.

I know that I am broken too. Brokenness can be pain and loneliness and hurt and feeling lost and alone. But it is also hope. Because if God can bring us life through Jesus's death and acts of kindness and strength from people who have experienced pain, then He can also bring beauty out of my brokenness.