There’s a lovely lady who regularly comes in to Olive Way, but who will often disappear for long periods of time. I always have a good chat with her when she comes in, and we often have a good laugh. She’s not sensitive about laughing at herself, though she appears quite serious a lot of the time.
She told me recently that she was struggling to feel motivated and keep an interest in life. She assured me she was not suicidal or depressed, she just felt like she was not getting anywhere and she wanted to start making something of her life. She had tried many things, even giving art a go in the art group. In the end she started getting a buzz by researching emails she’d been receiving. In the end I got the impression she was wanting to leave some kind of legacy, something her children could inherit, perhaps as a way of leaving her mark on the world. Like many people, retirement seemed to just lead to a dead end. I tried to help her find other ways of seeing the situation but there was not that she could really relate to.
In the end she told me that she likes writing and that she had written a book full of encouragements, things she’s seen on YouTube videos, and things she’s seen along the way. These are things that she finds motive, encourage, and inspire her. She said they are like prayers. For her prayers aren’t things that are sent up to God, they are things that are said to heal the human mind.
I was strangely encouraged by this conversation myself. For me the idea of ‘religious orthodoxy’ was less important than the fact that she had found a way to find healing, be encouraged, and be inspired. Clearly there is much that overlaps with ‘traditional’ Christianity, but most importantly there is an openness to the sharing spiritual ideas.
Peter Blair, Olive Way Pastor