Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I don't know if you remember where you were five years ago today. The country had been gripped with excitement about Live8 and the Olympic Bid, when in a flash, all that was forgotten.
In our school, in our small corner of Essex, the excitement changed to terror in a flash.

Terrorist Bombs.

In London.

Fear and confusion were everywhere, no-one knew what was going on and we were scared. For me and my friends, it was compounded by the fact that we had not been gripped with excitement, we were struggling to deal with the fact that one of our friends' Dads' had been diagnosed with cancer. Grief, mingled with a sense that we were not grown up enough to handle the situation had dominated our week and now this.

In at IT lesson, all work was abandoned as we all searched through internet news sites, desperate to get our hands on some information that could let us know if our loved ones were safe. Of course the phone lines were down so we were totally reliant on what the internet was telling us. Once we knew our own families were safe, we began to worry about the others we knew who could have been in danger. It was a horrendous day and I barely had space in my head to be thankful that everyone I knew was safe.

I think that week, in all of its terror, I learnt what it means to cry out to God in a new way. I was only fourteen and I had never prayed in that way before, I was truly crying out to God - lamenting. I wanted answers and comfort.

I was reaching beyond any kind of pretence I may have had around my faith or God. This was a gut wrenching cry of agony, and in its midst I knew God was there. I didn't understand, I was hurting, but God was Lord.

It was an important lesson for me. To call out to God in a new way, to cry out in pain - but not forget the sovreignty, the power and the love of God. I learnt to thank God when it feels like there is little to be thankful for.

Today I thank God, for the past five years, for their beauty and brokenness and the for the hope that arises from that.

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