Glorious Mud!

Do mud and glory go together? Well, there is a case to be made for it. Last weekend, Terry and I were at a camp in Yorkshire. It was August, but it might as well have been November. It was freezing cold, and it rained a lot. Consequently, as happens when 2,500 people with cars and trailers are moving around a flat grassy field in torrential rain, the ground got very churned up. The mud was truly spectacular: brownish-grey, slippery, with pools of water lying in the furrows, deep and a bit smelly. It got on everything: clothes, bags, bibles, kids….

It hadn’t occurred to us to bring wellies, but I was thankful to borrow a tasteful pair in green, decorated with daisies. Nice. So a nod in the direction of femininity and style then.

There were all sorts of people camping: young and old, families with babies, teenagers.  I am ashamed to say we stayed off site. No I’m lying, I was deeply grateful! But I was totally in awe of mothers who were carting their kids around in the rain, cheerfully sporting muddy jeans, wet jackets and plastic bags on their heads in the absence of suitable headgear.

I only once over heard an exasperated mum venting her wrath on an urchin who had presumably been wallowing  a bit too enthusiastically and had got his last pair of dry jeans wet and filthy….actually, I thought her response was fairly mild, considering. It reminded me of a Bible week many moons ago when Anna and Joel stomped around deliberately in a mud puddle and then came into the caravan…you just had to take wooden spoons with you everywhere in those days.

The surprising thing was that complaining was so rare  at North that it was practically non-existent. Maybe those Northerners are made of tougher stuff! They live there after all, under constantly grey, lowering skies I believe, and just get on with life. But they didn’t just not complain, they worshipped God wholeheartedly in every session; they served one another diligently; they listened to the preaching attentively, and they gave spectacularly! In fact, they gave over £130,000, and Westpoint also gave £101,000 to church-planting and outreach programmes. So nearly a quarter of a million given for further apostolic advance from these 2 camps.

What is it that makes people spend their bank holiday weekend camping in such extremely unpleasant conditions, trying to sleep  shivering in damp sleeping bags, splashing through thick mud to go anywhere,  queuing for loos and showers, and living on sausages in baps? This is not the famous British stiff upper lip: there were people there from Canada, Scandinavia, and Ireland. At Westpoint they also came from India, Spain and Portugal.

They were like the early Christians: sharing their lives together, worshipping, praying and learning from the apostles’ doctrine, having all things in common…even wellington boots. People were healed of  back problems and other painful conditions; many were filled with the Holy Spirit;  and some responded to God’s call on their lives to take the Gospel to another location, even overseas.

There was a great sense of identity and momentum.

They are together on a mission, not just for last weekend, but in everyday life. Yes, there was something glorious about it.


Filed under Reflections

6 responses to “Glorious Mud!

  1. Sue Lyndon

    Great Blog, Wendy! Great to spend a bit of time with you and Terry – lots of love. Sue x

  2. The Drowns (1985 Downs when Terry talked about Jonah) and Stoneleigh (one of the last with a mammoth collection) all rolled into one. One of my friends fell over at the drowns Downs and was so wet with the rain and covered from head to toe that we just hosed her down shw couldn’t have got any wetter so at least she was clean. What great times we had and remember. Thanks. Frances x

  3. Linda Oram

    “Us up north” are used to rain, but the mud was specacular wasnt it, we also were off site, but didnt bring any wellies so 2 pairs of shoes were thrown in the skip at the end of the Monday morning meeting, put a clean pair on to drive home.
    It just goes to prove that God is in the house regardless of the weather.Just get on with worshiping our Creator God, There is no drought here!!!

    Linda Oram, Gateway Leeds

  4. Nick

    I have one thing to say: We’re Bananas!!!

  5. I remember the very wet Stoneleigh when we had persuaded our friends who really were NOT campers to come along. We were worried that they would return to Devon the next day, but instead us wives spent the morning in the launderette drying out the clothes and bedding and they even came back the next year!! To be in Your presence, To sit at Your feet,
    Where Your love surrounds me, And makes me complete.
    This is my desire, O Lord no matter how wet it is!

  6. We had booked our holiday at the end of the summer this year … prayed for you all while we were lying in the sun … however our teenager has informed us that we are not to go away over the bank holiday in 2012 as he wants to go to North! … will be packing the wellies 🙂 – it sounds as if it was just like North 2009 – slipping and sliding everywhere then too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s