I’ve been cycling a lot recently. To and from work, to town, to church, to friend’s houses, everywhere. Unless its close walking distance or someone is giving me a lift, then I cycle it. And with that comes general annoyance at car drivers. There are a large number of cyclists where I currently live, so you’d think that the car drivers are used to us and give us plenty of space, etc. But no. Not a lot of the time. It bugs me. Its not uncommon for me to get road rage when I’m cycling, even though I never used to when I was driving.
What sparked this little rant was when I nearly got knocked out by a plane of glass this afternoon. I was cycling along slowly because I was trying to find a specific shop along the road, and I wasn’t exactly sure where it was. I then spotted it on the other side of the road, so I pulled over and stopped about 1.5 metres behind a parked van. The van was obviously a window fitting business, and it had a rectangular piece of glass attached to the side of the van, sticking out about half a metre behind the end of the van. Before I had chance to dismount my bike, to cross the road to the shop, the van started reserving fairly quickly. The glass and the back of the van was coming straight at me. I frantically tried to move myself and my bike backwards as quickly as possible, but I couldn’t keep going backwards at the same speed as he was coming towards me. And I think I must have been in his blind spot. There was a guy over the road who spotted this situation and started shouted ‘WOAH!!!’ to the van driver. I don’t think he noticed, but thankfully he didn’t continue reserving, and pulled out forwards, enabling me to breathe a sigh of relief. But as you can guess – it didn’t do my general opinion of drivers any favours.
I don’t often say much about my work here, but if I had to sum it up in one word it would be ‘challenging’. Phyiscally challenging; intellectually challenging; emotionally challenging; and spiritually challenging. And most of the time I enjoy the challenge, but after 12 hours of being on my feet and often a few difficult conversations, then I’m usually glad to stop. This can include watching TV, meeting friends in a pub or collapsing with a takeaway. Last night it included gazing up at Jesus’ armpit.
I’d cycled up the hill after work to go to the alternative worship service, and because I’d got out of work late then I was late for the service, but I sneaked in and sat on the floor in the middle. As I recovered physically from the effort of getting myself and my bike up the hill and entered into the spirit of the service, I lay down. It soon became clear that most of the service was made up of stations around the church. Given that I had missed the explanation and didn’t quite have the energy to walk around the church yet, I opted to stay where I was – soaking up the background music.
I’d been lying on the floor with my eyes closed for a minute or two, when I opened them. And found myself looking at the crucifix from below. This Anglican church has a fairly large, Catholic-looking, cruxifix handing from the ceiling at the front of the church. The front of it, being brought up in a low church, really doesn’t do anything for me. Its far too fancy and cringe-worthy for my liking. But from where I was lying I could see the back of the cross, as it hung dramatically above me, and Jesus’ armpits; and it was strangely spiritually stimulating. It was a wow moment, when I first saw it. And then I could use it as a centre point in my thoughts and prayer. I think it was the way it was hovering above me (if it had fallen, the base of the cross would have landed on my legs) and the way it was completely unplanned, than specifically the armpits. But still, the holy sweat glands caused some laughter in the pub afterwards.