Photo by Flickr user Pablo Fernandez / CC BY / (Click on image for original link)

We all see things we wish we hadn’t…for us here in the West End, it ranges from nudity, fights, extreme reactions to drugs and alcohol, to car crashes, people who have fallen off balconies and people in distress or crisis.

I’ve just got back from my daily dog walk where I saw what could only be described as a pornographic photo shoot taking place round the corner from a child-friendly aquarium, 10 minutes walk from my home. I’m not sure whether I feel more shocked, confused or angry – 7pm in full day light in a family friendly area is surely not the place to be filming and photographing antics such as these!

I am looking forward to my home becoming a little more ‘boring’ in the next few weeks as the season dies down. During the summer, we probably get used to expecting the ridiculous and accepting the abnormal as part of the hum drum of the season. It is moments like today, however, that make me feel very ready for the winter and a change of what I’ll expect to be greeted with when I leave my front door.

Is it wrong to become quite used to seeing and experiencing situations that in most other contexts would be outrageous or alarming? Or is it a way of coping with the relentless nature of this type of work?

Is what we see here the product of the ‘what happens in Ibiza stays in Ibiza’ mentality (it doesn’t, just to clarify)? Or is this just the raw and perhaps more condensed reality of what most of us cover up or disguise more competently on our home turf?

As a team we have begun, and will continue to do, quite a lot of processing over the next three weeks – processing the things we have seen and experienced, allowing God to heal and restore parts of us that have grown weary or broken because of what we have been exposed to, and asking Him to integrate our experiences this season into the bigger picture of who we are becoming. Work like this always leaves us changed, but we want to make sure it is change for the better. So please pray for us, the remaining team, in our thinking and the unwinding of our heads, that we let go of what needs to be let go of, and grow in the ways that God is stretching us.



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