Monday, February 11, 2008

Trevor Yaxley - a truly good man

Trevor Yaxley visited our city yesterday. An extremely down-to-earth man I could relate to. I am a woman of faith. I don't fit easily into established groups (hence why I am no longer part of a church for now) but I try not to let my feet touch the floor in the morning without giving thanks for my day and asking for guidance. I found Trevor's ministry refreshing and normal. The man wasn't flash, he just said things how they were and spent some time encouraging individuals personally. There were some poignant moments and I swear, if God was there, His words would've matched Trevor's as he spoke to some of our folk. I was crying to hear the love pour out of this man and into the lives of people who are complete strangers to him. He just went to one young man and they hugged for what seemed like ages. We looked on quietly. No hype, no strings - just real love. I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about the purpose of church, God's call on our lives and how I am to respond to that. I know two things for sure: Being a Christian is about God and it's about people. Anytime we disregard either of these things, or replace them with ourselves, then we miss the whole point and are ineffective. Of course, we needn't run around advertising "I am a Christian" but just let our lives speak for themselves. All the "Praise the Lord's" and "Hallelujah's" are a waste of time when it's just Christianese. People don't want religion. They want to know that they matter. That they are loved and that all things are forgiveable. I know for me, one of the biggest challenges I faced was forgiving myself. Encountering people who could love me in spite of my mistakes, who could see the good in me and who taught me to listen to God's voice, well, they are what helped change my life. I can build a building, put a sign up and call it a church but I don't think that's what God meant and I don't think it would help anyone. I think church is God's people making a difference in the lives of those around them seven days a week. In our homes with our family, in our workplace (which Trevor elaborated on brilliantly) and wherever we are. We can make a positive difference by being encouraging; seeing the good in people and backing one another; supporting those who suffer, lack and are broken; living healthy, fun lives that inspire others. Churches can get insular - a church can become all about itself; it's programmes, it's ministry; it's vision; it's reputation and appearance; it's great reform ideas; and stop being about people and God. I don't believe it is my place to tell anyone how to believe or how to live. I do believe I can however, live a transparent life, one that if it is worthy, it might inspire others who are looking for an alternative. I can always encourage. I can always uplift in prayer. I can always care. That costs me nothing except to remain authentic and have a soft heart. Not an easy call but one that is worthy of my efforts. Remembering always that this is God's work anyway. I am just invited to participate and enjoy the blessings. I can't do much but God can do all things. In Trevor's final words he said something to the effect of "use words when there is nothing else you can do". The world doesn't need more sermons, hypocrites, liars, religion, phoney's, control freaks, power freaks ... it just needs ordinary people who give a damn and are willing to do something extra-ordinary about it.


Unknown said...

well said - i agree with you - Trevor is a personal friend of my husband and I - and he really is a remarkable man and his wife and kids. Agree on your view of church - could have written that word for word - we have to be the church not go to church - opportunities everyday to impact this world - these people around us - God bless you as you strive to live authentically before GOd and man. Lynette

Unknown said...

Trevor came to my church before I joined back in 2003. Man, that guy was awesome. He talked with me and my wife for quite awhile and just put it all out there in plain language. He definitely is amazing. Glad you could meet him.