Just over 9 years. That’s how long it has been since I left my previous church. It was the church we first went to, when we moved from Klang to Melbourne. We were there from day 1, so I guess it was “our church” in Melbourne, up until when I left it, back in November 2012. Tham Fuan became a pastor of that church 1-2 years before we left.
Last Thursday, after the usual home group meeting that we had online, I sent Tham Fuan an email. I asked if he wanted to catch up. The next day, I received a text from him saying he’d like that. After a few text exchanges, we arranged to catch up over coffee on Sat arvo.
It felt strange the whole of Sat morning, which thankfully, was a busy one. The little Padawan had his penultimate puppy obedience class, which started the day, at 8am. We then came home and a guy then rocked up to fix our fence. The property on our eastern side had been demolished earlier in the week. It was to be subdivided. The demolition crew took down a part of the fence so they arranged to fix that, which happened on Saturday morning. As the repair man went about his work, I took the Lexus for a wash before swapping it with the Mazda. We’ve had to alternate between the 2 cars to ensure each ran smoothly – one of the outcomes of our new pandemic hit world is that we’ve only had to use one of our cars, with the other covered up and unused for weeks on end. To minimise risks of the battery flattening for lack of use, we’ve rotated the 2 cars every few weeks. With so many changes to our lives in recent weeks/month, I’ve neglected this exercise and the Mazda had been left idle for maybe 3-4 months. So, after giving the Lexus a wash, we swapped out the Mazda and got the Lexus covered up.
I then did the “feed the garden” task, as I mixed and applied nutrients to the front shrubs and lawn. Tress did some vacuuming and the house felt much better for it.
When the fencing guy finished, I had a chat with him. A Lebanon migrant, he was telling me about his recent woes with the legal system. His smattering English meant I could only guess the extent of his woes but the constant “very hard” left me in no doubt that he has had a tough time. His (legal) problems were to do with his immigration status and his less than harmonious relations with his estranged wife. I picked up that he must have had an AVO breached and that resulted in his visa being reviewed and potentially revoked. He faces a forced return to Lebanon, without his 2 young kids. I said I didn’t know how I could help him except to maybe pray for him. He appeared to be thankful for that.
We got cleaned up after our chores, went for lunch, and then came home for Tress’s AGM (online) for a charity she has been volunteering (as a Treasurer) for. While she had her AGM, I kept my appointment with Tham Fuan. We caught up for coffee and had a chat for almost an hour. I guess one could say we patched up. I said to him that after a few months of wandering following my departure from his church, I landed at St Alf’s and we’ve been there since maybe April/May 2013. So we’ve been at St Alf’s longer than we were at Tham Fuan’s church. It was good to be reconciled with a brother. We both said, a few times, that we shared more common beliefs and values than we had differences so it’s good to let the former prevail, not the latter. Most importantly, I think our Lord would be more pleased than if we left things as they were. He prayed and after shaking hands for a second time, he offered a hug and I reciprocated.
The weather too, was near perfect over the weekend. The weekend has been very good. Awkward, and strange, but good.