safe harbour

Where is your go to place? When you close your eyes and need to be somewhere other than here, where do you go?

The great agitation in the world of today makes it more and more urgent to gain inner strength in those quiet encounters with Christ that make it possible for us to remain under his rule and authority. Situated as we are in the midst of a world that is so terribly unpeaceful, we need constant nourishment for our inner life. In short, if we want to avoid suffering inward shipwreck in the storm of public opinion and chaos, then our hidden inner being needs daily the quiet haven of communion with God.

Eberhard Arnold, The Inner Life

My go to place is the north east coast of England. It was there I encountered Jesus as a child through beach missions in Seahouses. This coastline is the backdrop for Vera and countless other films and tv series because it is so beautiful.

For me it is a thin place. A place where heaven and earth touch, where intimacy with God occurs. I have nearly drowned three times in my life, twice at other people’s hands and once on this coastline. The water here is never kind – it is breathtaking and harsh.

The castle in the background of the photo is Bamburgh. A majestic, still lived in castle, partially open to the public edifice of feudal times gone past.

To me it is the perfect castle, fairy tales and dungeons as a child grew into a want to live in a castle. I discovered when we lived in Ballyheigue that living in a castle is cold. Very very cold.

Along the road from Bamburgh, passing the place I almost drowned is the village of Seahouses and its harbour. From here you can take a boat trip to the Farne Islands and enjoy really fresh fish. The harbour smells of fish all the time, some of the boats never seems to leave, others leave every day. They catch herrings, lobster and other fish. But it is my safe place.

Just over the harbour wall is the place I learned about Jesus and His wonderful Good News. Each year there were different volunteers headed up by the hirsute, bearded Granville. They loved Jesus and I wanted to.

Seahouses Harbour

A harbour not alone shelters boats but also shields, hides, gives refuge to humans. Harbour also means to hold in the mind. I harbour good thoughts of Jesus every minute of every day. My childhood memories of the Beach Mission are sparse, the songs long forgotten but the passion and love of the Beach Mission folk will stay tucked up in my heart forever. The north -east coast of England is my safe place.

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

Psalm 16:1

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