London Journal – Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Signs, ads and art fascinate me.

Here is a sign with creative art, found on the walls of the Pret-A-Manger deli stores.

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And here is an ad at the shopping center called 02.

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When I saw this ad, I immediately thought of the words of Jesus, “I am the light of the world.” As I travel around London, I wonder how many people have seen the Light of Jesus.

At the 02 Center we ate lunch at the Fine Burger Company (the food lives up to the name) and had long conversation with one of the women on our London team, for (yes, you guessed it) spiritual direction and discussion of adminsitrative issues. It was a most fruitful time, with discussion of in-depth issues, not just surface stuff.

In conversations I am still learning how much effort and dsicipline it takes to practice deep listening and relevant questioning instead of making pronouncements, giving advice, or offering solutions. People are naturally creative and resourceful. They can come to deep insight into their own situation and can discover what next steps to take. What they need from me is support, coaching and appropriate questions, to enhance the skills, resources and creativity that they already have.

We returned to our hotel room in the evening, just after the inauguration of President Barack Obama (we are five hours later than Eastern Standard Time), but we turned on the TV (with help from the man at the front desk!) and watched the replays, commentaries and parade. It was a moving experience for me, to see the huge crowds and the emotion they showed, and to reflect on the implications of having our first African-American President.

The flow of history is awesome to contemplate. Barack Obama placing his hand on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his inauguration was a powerful connection.

It is impressive to me to see and hear the keen interest that the people of the United Kingdom have in this election and this new President. People here really do see this as an historic event and opportunity, and their hopes are high.

For my part, I have no idea how President Obama can keep all the promises he has made or live up to the high rhetoric of his campaign speeches, but I wish him well and will pray for him.

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One Response

  1. Good to read of the enthusiasm for President Obama in the UK. Your final paragraph captures my current “position” and next step.

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