How did we get here?
Well this particular story began seven years ago whilst filming a gathering of Indigenous Christian believers in Ginosar Northern Israel.
On the second day I was walking through a gardened area, when I felt a tap on my shoulder, as I turned I was greeted by a spear toting Aboriginee, I politely said “Hello…er..can I help?” To which a softly spoken antipodean sister introduced herself as Gloria Miller along with her two Ozzy companions, after a brief exchange of pleasantries, she enquired if I needed prayer for something? I was a little taken aback standing there in the middle of a municipal garden on the banks of the Galilee. Yes! I blurted out, as I had just received news that my Dad had passed away, – this wasn’t common knowledge – only our film crew knew about it and due to our filming schedule I felt like I had to park my grieving process until I returned to the UK.
Gloria said gently we knew there was something – we could feel your pain – it was all a bit surreal, standing there in this public space; we prayerfully acknowledged the Great Comforter’s intervention in our intimate conversation. Afterwards we exchanged e-mail details before going on our separate ways.
Two years later I received an e-mail from our Aboriginal friend, letting me know she was travelling to England and wondered if we could meet up on the journey. Gloria and fellow sojourner Helen duly arrived at our home and stayed the night. After dinner Gloria announced that she had a gift for me “Oh I like gifts, I replied” so I readied myself to receive my gift, Gloria produced a small leather bag and proceeded to rummage about in it muttering’…
I was going to give this one to such and such but…”I’m thinking what has she got in the bag, as I tried to peer into it from the other side of the room. Looking up she cryptically said “That’s if you want it I thought what kind of gift is this” resolutely she said – “you`ll only get one chance for this”.
Feeling a bit apprehensive about what was being offered, I said “Tell me more” I need more details before I can accept such gift.
The gift being offered me was a stone, Gloria had handpicked this symbolic object as a prophetic act from the beach of Matantos on the Isle of Espiritos Santos one of the tiny islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. She proceeded to enlighten the significance of this particular beach. It turns out that a Spanish adventurer by the name of Captain Pedro Ferdinand De Quiros was looking for the Great South land better known these days as Australia, but instead he hit this beach thinking he’d arrived at his destination [he was just a little bit off] never the less he made an extremely important visionary proclamation on the day of Pentecost 1606 declaring that from that moment on the gospel would be preached until the coming of Christ, calling it the Great South land of the Holy Spirit.
Well this was all very interesting info about a place I`d never heard of before, but if I’m honest it didn’t really float my boat, apart from now I now had a stone from there. That was until the following day. I was driving home from the railway station where I`d dropped off Gloria and Helen, suddenly I started singing out loud a new song!
The song was all about Gloria and the importance of this stone she’d brought me… I was buzzing all over with a deluge of new lyrics sparking in my spirit – notably because I hadn’t written anything for ages.
Somehow I sensed that this stone token brought from a beach on the other side of the planet had a strong connection with a conversation between the risen carpenter’s son from Nazareth and his companions two thousand years ago. I re-read the account written in the Acts of the Apostles “He said to them and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth ‘abruptly Jesus’ words took on a fresh prophetic directional tone – especially as I had been pondering why the church continued to pursue endless evangelistic campaigns – was it an attempt to fulfil the so called great commission?
All this had the stale smell of institutions keeping themselves in business!
That said this new pebbly perspective had verve and passion akin to a spiritual boomerang whirling its way full-circle back to its sacred source – completing its purpose.
Sound farfetched? Have a listen to what the two angelic characters had to say to those bewildered onlookers stood on the Mount of Olives `this same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ – words reminiscent of Zachariah`s prophesy – one Messiah two comings – check out the small print!
So if we were to forward wind this ancient conversation, we might find ourselves back at the start point on the Mount of Olives holding a White Stone,heading like a boomerang for a scrumptious banquet.
To be continued as the story unfolds…