Tea with scum.

1 Aug
August? You’re joking?!
Sorry, was distracted for a second there by seeing the date appear at the top of this… Good grief. Although, today is "vaguely sunny" so perhaps this might constitute some kind of cursory nod to the supposed summer period. Summer’s running out of time to get here though.
Anyway.
What is the best thing one can do in the face of a severe weather warning? Go camping! Which is what the Thomas twins, the Latin Link posse and I did last week, going down to the Bath & West Showground for Soul Survivor Momentum. Which, for the uninitiated, is a bit like a cross between Glastonbury and church. Ten thousand young people camping in the mud, and singing and listening and praying and celebrating for about 6 hours a day. It seems like a long time since I’ve been down there, think I was 19 last time I went (not counting soul in the city in London 2004). Usually there is a big festival atmosphere as you queue for a couple of miles to get in with all the other people who are heading there, who wave at you out of their back windows and turn up their stereos so you can all sing along, people in silly hats to greet you and give you your map when you arrive, people barbecuing, playing guitar on the grass, random people walking round shaking hands and asking "are you John? Come join our mighty band of Johns!" and inevitably at least 3 water fights that expand to include about 40 people you’ve never met. Well, this year the weather put a slight dampener on things, insofar as there was absolutely noone else to be seen on the roads when we arrived in the torrential rain, and when we got to the field, there were a couple of people standing around in wellies looking worriedly at the mud, who explained that they were thinking of evacuating that field to somewhere further up the hill. We cooked dinner on a camping stove in the rain every day, and made tea which always had an inexplicable layer of scum whatever we tried.
In other ways, the party atmosphere was still there though; it did nothing to the amazing worship and clearly a bit of rain did not stop God speaking to us when we shut up for a week and listened for once. The theme of the week was "suffering and glory", so I think the weather conditions were quite appropriate. It was yet another of those occasions where I go with my own agenda, expecting to pray about one thing, and God quite quickly brings a whole other, much more basic thing to my attention and works on that all week. All I’ll say is, he fixed something that week that I didn’t even know was broken, and I feel like I haven’t since last May. He can move a mountain.
A constant quiet amusement was also had by just listening to Sim and Colin bickering lovingly all week. My Latin Link neighbours got much entertainment from waking up every morning to hearing them eloquently slating each other while trying to cook breakfast in the rain. I’m not sure they realise quite how much entertainment they provided to the field, actually… It occurred to me, while Sim was staying here for the rest of the week, that there really is something a little twisted about a friendship which has reached the stage where "Your FACE!" quite clearly means "I love you". Ah well. Now he’s gone I’m struggling not to be really horrible to everyone else by mistake…
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