So, this blog has, until recently been purely about education, art and creativity. While I was on vacation in the states I realised that my identity goes deeper than Hamish the Artist and Hamish the Educator. I am also a Pastor; an ordained, preaching, marrying, burying, Jesus believing, Christian Pastor. It is easy for me to represent my other two identities on this site, but to be truly me, to be a good representation of who I am, I’m endeavouring to include all of me in all of this. This does not mean that you’ll now be getting a blog post every few weeks about religion, but it does mean, that the inclusive, loving, agenderless faith that inspires me will permeate more of my writing.
I often joke that one reason I introduce myself as an artist or an educator first is because I actually want to talk to people, There is some truth in that… I’ve tried to recall the statistic, but it’s hard to quantify… I would say on average, 29 out of 30 times, when I mention I’m a pastor, it’s met with awkward silence, the chirping of crickets, and embarrassment, as if I’ve mentioned a really heinous crime. I’m sure as you read this… some of you have had the mental equivalent in your reaction. If we were face to face, I would jump to my old faithful remark “Oh, but I hate religion!”, And then start down the track of how literalism, judgement and tribalism has hijacked the beauty of faith and that might ease the tension a little. The reality is, I’ve been doing this for some time now. I have been a full time pastor for 11 years, and I have an amazing church, filled with “Recovering Christians”, Athiests, the curious and the disillusioned. It’s fun and it comes down to a simple truth. Life is actually quite amazing.
I’m writing this at 4:49am because I am recovering from Covid, and it seems that one of my side effects is insomnia. I’ve had a shitty couple of weeks, where I haven’t been able to work, I’ve lost productivity, I have a long list of jobs to finish, my wife is overworked looking after us, and doing her full time job, my younger daughter needs me to run her to school in 90 minutes for cheerleading, whilst the other daughter stays in bed, recovering from her bought of the same virus. On top of that, I really don’t know if the business I’ve been working on and invested the last 5 years of my life into is going to continue next year because… Covid! All of this should have me depressed and frustrated, and in many moments it does, but I also know, at around 9:00am I am going to walk into my favourite coffee shop, drowsey from the sleepless night, the Malay barista is going to make a funny comment about how bad I look, we will chat and he'll make me laugh as he sings along with a cheesy 80's song or J-pop anime anthem and then I’m going to have a perfect flat white and a croissant, and in that moment, Life’s going to be ok.
We are in this messy, broken, divided, hurt, post Covid world, but life is still beautiful, the smallest acts of kindness, patience, gentleness, grace and respect still make even the most damaged of us wake up from our personal Hells for even just a moment, to see that heaven is as close as the air that we breathe… and in those moment, to me, we experience God. So, please forgive me, if occasionally in this blog, I remind you to look up, to notice the beauty, and in my tradition and in my context name it… I invite you, in your life and in your context, to do the same. I invite you to be open.
Have a great day :)