Open Air: I Walked With A Zombie

The film or the song? It doesn’t matter: they’re both excellent, i.e. the 1943 film by Jacques Tourneur, and the song by the late, great Roky Erickson. However, when the folk going by on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens look like they’re auditioning for a low-budget, lacklustre remake of “Day Of The Dead”, it can be a bit dispiriting. By now, most people will have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions, and will be wondering where all the money went over Christmas, and why they’re going to have to live on credit until the next payday. And/or, they might just have watched the news or read the newspapers before venturing out on this chilly afternoon in January.

However, it isn’t raining, and it isn’t unbearably cold, and we have Janette and Peter to encourage us and to give out literature in impressive quantities, and we have a strong desire to preach the gospel to those who obviously need it, i.e. practically everyone within earshot “dead in trespasses and sins”. In fact, as usual, we’re happy to be out and about; and we’re pleased to hear encouraging words from passing believers, who certainly outnumber the odd few who make negative comments.

So, what went on last Wednesday? Well, not a lot, at least not a lot that could be called dramatic - which is fine by me. I like it when it’s quiet and the preaching is more or less uninterrupted…

Stephen had a long conversation with a man who was unhappy with the state of the world in general and with our land in particular. And who can blame him? And yet he, like Mulla Nasrudin in the story of the lamppost and the lost key, was looking in the wrong place for enlightenment. We pray that something of what Stephen had to say will stay with him and perhaps turn his gaze in another direction. Jesus said: “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I spoke for a while with a gentleman that I’ve mentioned before, the one who is so concerned for his son and his struggle with addiction. He is now, it seems, being helped by a charity that specialises in such problems, and is making slow progress…

He asked us to remember him in prayer once more, and I said that we would do so.

I also chatted for a while with some pleasant folk from Trinity Church in Stockport. I invite you to take a look at their website. Big on beards in leadership, eh? I trust that we’ll see them again, sometime.

Peter also brought us news - at last - of Brendan, whom we haven’t seen for a few months. It turns out that he’s been ill (details unclear at present) and had to spend a short time in hospital over the Christmas period, but is now out and on some sort of medication. We wish him well, and look forward to seeing him once more, God willing.

I know that we normally direct attention to those unbelievers that we meet in order to have folk pray for them, but may I for once ask for your prayers for Brendan, and for Janette, who continues to experience various forms of harassment from those in her immediate circle at home.

Next Wednesday’s forecast for Manchester city centre is “fine but cold”, so if you intend to join us, wrap up well. If not, please pray for us, and - more especially - for those of The Walking Dead who pass by while the gospel is being preached. Jesus said: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Every blessing!