As we struggle with living out the Gospel message
to love you and our neighbour
forgive us when we fail your children
in whatever body they are clothed.
(from Moot little service liturgy on the theme of Hospitality)
Today i found myself, as usual, in a Moot service. This is a pretty normal Sunday evening activity for me now. I have come to love the profound acceptance of humanity that is often shared in a space created by members of our community. Today’s little service was based on the theme of Hospitality. I’m not often moved by liturgy. In fact my general impression has always been that liturgy is there for those who can’t handle the risk of getting to the core of who we are as people…that it offers a way out of being honest. That’s just my stupid arrogance coming through. But today’s liturgy had followed on form an afternoon event that I’m sure will stick with me.
A friend had offered to take me to a caberet club he often visits with his boyfriend. It’s not something i would usually do with my Sunday afternoons. Soho has always been kept for birthday parties on Saturday nights that i would more often than not wish to forget. Dean street at 3pm on a Sunday has a slightly different feeling though.
We were there to see the drag act who arrived on stage an hour late. Most in the audience were regulars. Being new to the venue, i was keeping a watchful eye of the other visitors. One lady in particular caught my eye: at about 4’5inches high she wore a large black adidas anorak which was worn from the elements. Her hair, unwashed was less ‘presentable’ than most other cuts in the room.
I remarked to my friend about the smell of hairspray that made me cough as our glamourous and tall afternoon entertainment passed by me down the aisle and made for the stage. There a giant bouquet of flowers and red velvet curtain met her predictable black sequin dress on stage. I antcipated a long string of innuendoes and smutty jokes. Instead our entertainer (whose name i forget) got down off the stage and made a b-line for the lady in the anorak. She lent over and gave her a huge hug followed by a kiss on the cheek.
Anorak lady’s face glowed up to show a smile missing many of the front teeth. Her day had been made. The lady at the bar with nobody to talk to, met with warm acceptance from on high. The atmosphere in the room was converted from generic entertainment venue to a place of hospitality and dramatic acceptance.
What struck me today was the love shown from one marginalised soul to another. The liturgy at moot helped me to look a myself, at the places i have ignored my own neighbour and reflect on the examples of love in our city.
God, help me to remember the subversive language of your love. Forgive me for turning my back on my brothers and sisters because of fear, mistrust and busyness.