Soul Food Advent Blog Series 2018: 'Room at the Table'
Guest blogger: James White
Worth and Where to Find it
Part II: God & Ginger Geordies
It was a warm June afternoon in 2011.
I was wearing a smart shirt and a tie, a book bag over my shoulder with application forms, pens and a journal. I probably looked like a teacher, on his lunch break, about to head back to a busy afternoon of year 11 RE classes.
But the reality was that I was unemployed, I’d run away from my profession, my life and was looking for a way back into teaching after a string of failures.
I was lost, exhausted.
I was lonely.
I was in the middle of a severe depression.
I was in Newcastle.
We all go through seasons in our lives that are difficult. When we feel like we’re at the end of ourselves and we’re not sure which way to turn. Sometimes we feel completely alone, that we don’t belong to anything, or belong with anybody.
This was one of those times in my life.
I felt utterly lost, and devoid of any ideas. I sat next to a large window in Starbucks sipping a luke warm coffee wondering how I had ended up in such a mess.
And then God spoke to me through the kindness of a ginger geordie.
I noticed a group of people in the street huddled around each other like they were about to play in the Superbowl and my heart sank as a couple of them began to move slowly over to the window I was sat behind.
As I kept staring straight forward I could sense them looking at me together as a group.
They lingered. Lurked. Loitered, all the while focusing their attention on me. I felt so self conscious because I knew they were all talking about me.
From the corner of my eye I could see that they had their eyes closed and they were praying.
Oh no, I thought. Christians.
After about 5 minutes of this they finally left.
Phew. Now I can get back to ruminating on what a deep hole of shit I was in.
But then this man tapped me on the shoulder.
He looked at me with kindness in his eyes. Like, looked deeply at me, almost into me.
He spoke with a thick Georgie accent.
He had Ginger hair.
‘Excuse me,’ he said, ‘we were just praying for you, and we wanted to encourage you with this.’
He handed me a piece of scrappy paper with some writing scribbled on it and left the coffee shop without saying goodbye.
James White is a 37 year old Yorkshireman who works for a global fashion company. He has been part of Soul Food Edinburgh for the past for 4 years and is is fanatical about football, food and finding meaning in just about anything. He knows nothing about fashion.