Been sitting here contemplating this morning’s preach on Psalm 91 v.4 in the week of a tragic mining disaster as I sup my morning cup of tea. There’s three men here sharing my breakfast with me today.
Over to my left is Moses – bushy eyebrows, slightly weary expression and a lot of sand trickling off his sandals. He’s been telling me the story of the day when he questioned God’s judgement. With a little quiver to his otherwise booming voice he’s just told me how God pointed out that he gave him eyes, ears and mouth -so he ought to be able to use them.
Next to Moses is Jeremiah – ramrod straight back, but the lines of a tough life etched on his face. With a very slight bow of his head he’s been telling me about the start of his adventures – the day when God told him he’d picked him out as a spokesman before he could even speak. He wasn’t sure then, doesn’t seem altogether sure now – but he says God has kept his promise to help him deflect his critics, like pebbles bouncing off an iron tower.
On my right is Paul – checking carefully to see that the tea I’ve made for him is fairly traded. He’s been telling me about his time in Corinth – a great seething cauldron of vice and godlessness. His face reddens a little as he talks about arriving in that great city as a little man with a poor voice and a big mission. His face reddens further still as he talks about nearly giving up after a few weeks, and God’s night-time house call to keep him going.
Putting down his mug of tea so firmly that it slops over the edges, he claps a firm hand on my shoulder and tells me to ‘go to it young man’. As I leave the kitchen I can hear Moses shout with his mouth half full of bread and honey ‘give it to them straight, son’. ‘Ooops, I’ve just broken the honey jar’, says Jeremiah. Time for church, I think…