FINDING MYSELF IN LOCKDOWN: NO.1

Recent reflections by Colin McDowell – Mossley Society Steward and Media Team

DAY ONE in the Big Brother House and the housemates are familiarising themselves with their new environment.

Lockdown to many of you, probably felt a bit like being stuck in the Big Brother House but without the housemates. For me it wasn’t much different from my normal routine, I woke up, got ready, went to work and came home. Just my normal day to day activity apart from the weekends, when I missed the company of my friends and of course Church. 

Isn’t it quite amazing how quickly we can adapt to changes in our lives and our routines when we know that Lockdown had the sole purpose to “Protect the NHS, Protect ourselves and protect others”? Now I’m not saying its easy and its probably been harder for some, but we are hopefully coming through this slowly and things are looking a lot better than they did 3 months ago.

They say every cloud has a silver lining and for me the most positive thing has been that I have been able to be in contact with my friends more than I normally would have been, all be it not in person. Whats app, Texts, Phone calls and Zoom has been a lifeline to me and many others.

With Zoom I had Wed night Bible Study,  Sunday night Band meeting and Saturday night quiz time. Zoom has made it possible to keep in contact and with the restrictions easing over the last few weeks, personal contact is now starting to make me feel more human.

A few weeks ago i was introduced to a man called Charlie Makesy (thank you Evelyn)

It all started with a book I received in the post and to be honest when I opened it I didn’t know what to make of it, it looked like a children’s book with strange drawings and writing. The title is “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse.”  It’s kind of hard to describe the book, it’s just a beautiful, simple, feel good book of encouragement. 

While I was reading it, I had this feeling that there was something more about the man Charlie than just another Author of a book. Being someone I had never heard of before, or knew anything about I was intrigued. So I Googled him to find out more. That set off a chain of events that i can only describe as moving, inspirational, encouraging and up-lifting.

He is an artist with a special talent… paintings, drawings, sculptures and some of his pieces are so beautiful and moving that he seems to be able to capture Gods love, compassion and grace in a way words can’t.

I soon discovered Charlie is a member of the Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, the church that through their Pastor Nicky Gumbel, developed the Alpha course. I was able to find some videos on youtube of Charlie as a guest speaker so obviously I had to take a look. I’ve never had such an instant respect for someone so quickly in my life before, I was just blown away.

He’s  probably not your average run of the mill speaker, but there was just something about what he was saying that resonated so much with me, and its fair to say he’s not a big fan of church, or institutional religion or the expectations that others put you under to be the perfect Christian.

His love for God came gradually, and for me it spoke to me about my own journey.  If I were to clean up my life before I came to know this God that I assumed could never love someone like me, we would have never met.

My own journey is more like learning everyday, failing most days, but getting back up and trying again.

The honesty of Charlie is probably what struck me most. His description of himself, ‘inappropriate’, ‘out of his depth’ and ‘flawed’. All the feelings that I have had myself. After I listened however, I came away with this overwhelming feeling of joy and love and normality. I’m normal, I’m human and Gods love for me is unconditional.

So I hope and pray that we never beat ourselves up for not coming ‘up to the mark’. A lot of the time these are expectations that others put on us.

If you get a chance to listen, you will find Charlie Makesy HERE on Youtube.

John 3:17 

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Images: Copyright Charlie Macksey

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