Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Angels and dragon fruits


Last night the ‘house family’ – those who live at White Stone – had the evening in, to spend deliberate time together and ‘be’ – and to bless each other in a purposeful way.

After a long drawn-out meal (table bedecked with candles, flowers and all) and a celebratory fifteenth birthday sing-song for one young sister who is staying with us this week, we got together in our lounge and exchanged presents: one for each person. (Every one had drawn names of others in the house family out of a hat a few days before.) The rules: no-one must spend more than £2 and the gift should be accompanied with a prayerful encouragement, word or wisdom for the person (which may or may not be connected in some way with the present itself).

A marvellously eccentric, thoughtful and imaginative collection of gifts were unwrapped over the next hour – chocolate-covered bananas, a flowers photo-cube, a box of beautiful pebbles, a key-ring wrapped in a parchment message, dragon fruits (what fruits? I’d never heard of these fascinating red, exotic-looking things) and so on…

‘It’s just like Christmas,’ piped one excited sister, gleefully – a somewhat politically incorrect remark since, as a church, we take a pretty dim view of that particular festive frenzy of materialism (with its dubious claims to have something to do with Jesus). But we knew what she meant and she was right. Somehow, yesterday evening managed to capture everything that a celebration of family should: intimacy, generosity, humour, good grace, peace, tenderness, eccentricity and love.

Later this week, the doors will fly open and our wild and wonderful crew will return to fill the house with noise and life. We’ll be glad to see them all. But it’s because of times like last night that we have the strength and the inner substance to make White Stone a worthwhile place for them to come at all…

9 comments:

adrian said...

Can you tell me where the dragon fruits came from? I have been wanting to buy them for years but so far have only come across expensive internet stores

normal said...

Jeanette said Tescos!!!

TJ said...

I seriously find it hard to believe that you'd not heard of Dragon fruit before...we even have them in the back of beyond where I live...not actualy tried one yet tho

; ) TJ

dee-braveheart said...

hmm that is a new one on me as well off to tesco i go
sounds like it was a wonderful build time
you guys are an inspiration of family building

TJ said...

The one thing that has put me off buying Dragon Fruit is that they do seem expensive for their size,bit like star fruit ect ect.Down here they are in the nearset tesco as well,many of the exotic fruits are now.

; ) The TJ

TJ said...

Oh a btw for adrian,Dragon fruit are native to Central and South America where they are known as pitaya or pitahaya.

; ) The TJ

Anonymous said...

im just wondering who got the flowers!

an anabaptist said...

The flowers were on the table... But Bethan did get given a spirit level!!! Whether she'll know what to use it for i do wonder...!

As james said at the end of his blog, it's times like that which allow us to give on the other evenings. I was feeling quite worn down and vulnerable and it was a real blessing to be able to be that! Am feeling much better now, with a relaxed agape too, and am apprieciating the security of living here. It's a security that i want others to know too though, so i am actually looking forward to a houseful!

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