Friday, 26 March 2010

A Tiger's Tale

A Tiger's Tale

A while back I was in a pub having had a very pleasant lunch in good company. It was mid afternoon and I noticed people looking intently at the tv screen. I wondered what had captured their attention. It was the confession by Tiger Woods of his infidelity. Apparently USA came to a halt briefly with people listening to this confession. I heard more of this man in contrition yesterday.

Cynics say that he needs to appease the public and his sponsors to carry on playing and earning. However, having just had a year of British politicians mealy mouthed and self justifying when caught redhanded I found it refreshing to hear a full and complete confession. James 5.16 encourages us to confess our sins to one another (not just in the confessional ) and pray for one another so we may be healed. Confession is meant to be part of a process that leads to healing not to feeling humiliated.

What interested me was that Woods said looking back he saw the person who committed the infidelity as if they were another person. That is not that strange perhaps as we sometimes say to others, using the English idiom, ‘I don’t think you have been quite yourself lately.’ Of course we are technically always ourselves but I was taken by his sense of detachment. After confession perhaps we have transcended our own selves. Only time will tell if Woods has used the confession for his own ends and only God knows the secrets of his heart. To be honest golf fails to entertain me but I will see Tiger Woods as a different man from now on.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

To the glory of God

The other day my friend and I who is a photographer went to the National Portrait Gallery to see an exhibition. We went for lunch in a MacDonald's, in Leicester Square, as mundane an activity as one could find. However, even in the most common place the divine can poke through the clouds.
One of the men cleaning the tables and taking the 'empties' away was a smartly dressed black man. I noticed how he was engaging cheerily with the diners at the next table who responded. I thought I had to talk to him.

He was from Nigeria and had worked in other European countries. I asked him about the trouble in his country where Moslems were brutally killing village men, women and children in revenge for atrocities by 'Christians' against Moslems. He had a diplomatic reply which now eludes me.

This man was a Christian. He seemed to want to just show his faith through his work. No empty rhetoric to make people uncomfortable.He really enjoyed engaging with the customers. I doubt if earned much more than minimum wage. His joy was infectious.

I thought of Brother Lawrence toiling cheerfully over his pots and pans.
I thought of the verse 1 Corinthians 10.31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Peter and I went back to our lunch. As we went out he was still chatting merrily to diners on another table. Peter, as usual, had his camera on him and the man was happy to have his pic taken. And yes I did write to his boss to commend this man to him. Good news, they say, spreads fast.