What's it all about?

40 nights for the orphans of India. My 'Lent in a Tent' is about raising hugely needed funds for 'Shining Faces in India' orphanage in Salem, Tamil Nadhu, by sleeping ouside the Chaplaincy at King's Bruton for 40 nights. My target is at least £10,000 - which amazingly is only enough to feed the hundreds of children there for about two months.

I hope that many might be inspired to trade 40 pounds for my 40 nights. Actually, in the back of my mind I'm convinced that we could smash through the target and go much much further ... I wonder.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Body soul and all ... night 35/40

One thing I try to speak into every day here at King's is the message our pupils hear that they're only the sum total of their physical existence. 'Materialism' is the technical term, and many are those who swallow it. Championed by popular science celebrities, the idea is that the feeling we're anything more is nothing than that ... a feeling, and an illusory one at that.

What we often don't realise is just how parochial a view that is in world terms, let alone how opposed it is by many from the very same sciences these proponents of the 'New Atheism' tell us they represent.

I'd love to write on about it, but instead let's relocate 5,100 miles to the orphanage to see things another way. Take these two smilers ... Rebecca on the right and friend ...

What do we see? Flesh, blood and bone ... or something so much more? Whatever we see, Jayaraj sees all that they are and ascribes value to them accordingly. God's creation ... body, mind and soul bound up in physical, psychological and spiritual unity ...

There, open-mouthed shout-aloud joy like in this little one is always only an outer expression of something far deeper at the core of a little boy or girl's soul. That's how Jayaraj sees his children. And so he provides for the whole person in them. Food for the body, yes, but also food for the soul. Clothing for the body, yes, but also clothing for the soul ... robed anew on the outside ... robed anew on the inside too.

So it is that we witness a spiritual work alongside a material work ... the children pray and feed and grow in spiritual roots and stability with such a deep understanding of the fullness of who they are under God ...

I sometimes hear the claim that attending to the spiritual in children is little less than brainwashing. Let the children decide for themselves. But is there really such a thing as unbiased education? Are we any different in our schools but just with the opposite message? Even teaching a 'pick your own way because anything goes' Post-Modernism is proposing a very particular world view. We can't escape a message of a kind.

For me, I'm four-square with Jayaraj. Whatever doubts I may have, I long to see the children brought up as everything possible they are and can be ... body soul and all.

So as they pray for us, I'll pray for them in all their wholeness ... the 'Gestalt' ... the essence or full form of who they are.

Only 6 nights to go and almost £13,000 given by so many generous followers. I wonder if a final £15,000 might be reached from this little tent on the grass by the time night 40 is done? If now's the moment then please ...

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