Just this weekend I had the opportunity to be part of a weekend where the Taize form of worship and prayer was brought to the city of Birmingham. The city and its own diverse culture, churches and chapels welcomed those from quite literally all corners of the globe, from Malaysia, Australia and China to the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary all for one purpose, to reflect together the role Christ plays in our lives and to discover hidden treasures… individuals who have so much to give of themselves for the good of others as well as learning respect for this world that God created for each of us.
I was able to take time out of my busy day to day life to stop and take time to be with others, to listen and to speak with individuals who I didn’t know and who didn’t know me. I didn’t feel any nerves or apprehension. Myself and another young women spoke quite frankly with one another at one point on quite a controversial subject but there was no fear. This was such a welcome contrast to ordinary life where you can face amniosity when speaking to someone you consider a friend.
In contrast to conversations we had we also had the opportunity to be silent. I found I took more time during those few days to be quiet to not want to hear my own voice to not need to put the television on or buy something from a shop that I didn’t need. Within a busy city hundreds of young people all had one focus in mind, to find the hidden treasures that hide within our neighbours and the everyday places that we pass. No one would ever think of a busy city like Birmingham as a place for reflection and peace but even within the busy shopping quarter I sat amongst many others and thought and reflected on what I had seen and was part of in this world! We all visited various places of worship where there were variations in worship and the titles people had but whereas in our jobs these things matter to us these differences didn’t cause intimidation or a feeling that one was more superior to another. Everyone accepted one another at no one point over the weekend did I hear any harsh words muttered inside or outside a church or place of worship! This may not have been because everyone was in a good place in their life because we know this is unlikely to be the case in this world where we have daily struggles and in some cases face feeling at the brink of survival. We see such images of hostility and terror that it’s enough to make anyone question if there is a God.
I really hope that what I have taken away from this weekend and what I have learnt stays with me and I carry out Gods plan for me in my day to day life. I also hope I come to another event such as this and make fresh connections with such wonderful people as those I have had the joy of meeting this weekend.