When You Feel Like You’re in the Minority


“Where do we get off the tube,” I lean over and ask H seated next to me on the underground.

“St. Paul’s Cathedral,” he says, eyes focused on his phone, thumb scrolling.

“I’m glad I brought flats in my purse, the balls of my feet are already screaming.”

Seated across from us, a young girl looks in a small mirror, eyes darting from her reflection over to H, back and forth, back and forth as if she is checking to see if he’s watching. Or is she watching him?

She puts the mirror away in the purse lying across her lap, ruffles hands inside while looking up as if she is blind and searching for something familiar. And her eyes, when they lower slowly back down toward H; she hesitates, looks away, like a child being naughty and found out.

To her left, a woman wears black leather, leans up against the door with arms tightly folded over her chest. Her eyes aren’t darting, they are fixed and glaring a hole into H, as if she is having a silent argument with voices inside her head.

Why are they staring, I wonder?

A few seats down, a man looks over at us from behind the newspaper spread out like a shield across his chest. He quickly adjusts his coat, folds the paper into quarters and looks the opposite direction.

It’s his collar. H is wearing a black jacket with his clerical collar because we are on our way to the consecration service for new bishops. I forgot he had it on. Until we moved to London I never gave that a second thought.

This could be the first time I experience being spit upon, I think, as we walk off the train, up the steps and into the station.





“Where is the door to get upstairs?” I ask H.

It’s Wednesday and we’re in a new-to-me part of London, waiting for the man behind the bar to take our drink order.

“I think it’s through there, on the other side of that wall,” he points over my head.

Frothy beer in hands, we slowly walk upstairs and choose a round table in the back of the room while the comedians are warming up in the back. We’re supporting a friend who is practicing comedy on the top floor of a pub. But the room is virtually empty.

Waiting for more people to show up, the organizer of the event asks us a bit sheepishly, if we can move up to the front table directly in front of the microphone, for the sake of those who will be performing.

When the emcee begins the event, she warms up the crowd by telling jokes and interacting with people in the audience. Pointing to H sitting front and center she asks, “What do you do?”

I look over at H and gulp.

“I’m a vicar,” H says with a smile and direct eye contact.

And then she moves quickly on to me.

“You are good people, I can’t give you any sh**,” she assesses, while laughing a bit uncomfortably.

Each comedian thereafter makes some small adjustment in delivery; some small reference to “being religious.” Eventually, we learn four of the seven people in the audience are Christians. What are the chances?

A young, baby-faced performer paces back and forth, fidgets with the microphone and pushes hands in and out of jean pockets. Attempting to make us laugh, he admits the last joke is about atheists and struggles with whether or not he should try it out on us because there is a vicar in the room. He’s laughing but conviction is what his body communicates.

“Go ahead and do it,” H affirms with laughter.


Without Christ, we evaluate people by what they have and how they look and we get it all wrong. But once we behold the face of Jesus, we see directly inside through the lens of love.

There is always an invitation for a fresh start, a new life and we are Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation – on trains, buses, and pubs.

I learned later that the emcee was scrolling through Google with swiftness on her phone during a break, looking up the words Vicar and Priest. She hadn’t a clue what those words meant but admitted she likes Christians because they can laugh at themselves.



God is making his appeal through us everywhere we go because wherever we go, the glory of God goes with us, even when we feel in the minority.

Through daily choices we speak for Christ and not being offended by a lack of faith in the people we encounter is a choice that matters, especially to those who watch us.

God is the biggest presence in the room and that can be condemning or convicting depending on where you sit among the crowds of the world.

As ambassadors of Christ, we aren’t tasked with changing perceptions but rather, inviting a change in perspective.

Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, MSG)


Have you ever felt in the minority as a Christian? Tell me about that in the comments.

Why Celebrating Smallness Matters


From the back seat of the car, out my window, I watch London concrete and skyline blur into verdant hills punctuated with white, wooly sheep. Weaving around farms, through dales and down high streets, we wind down on a Friday before dusk, traveling through the country. My mind and heart slow in the exhale of a commute to the Cotswolds for a writing retreat.

Behind me in the boot, next to a bag of books, computer and suitcase are cardboard boxes holding the delicate jewelry of two chandeliers; light fixtures potentially worth more than the car for which I am graciously being chauffeured.

“Do you want me to turn on my GPS?” I ask my friend behind the wheel and his wife holding a map.

I am travelling with third generation owners of Denton Antiques in Notting Hill, selling circa 1750-1900 masterpieces that once donned the walls and ceilings of castles and places of storybooks. A voyeur to the ways of a 100 year old family business boasting of clientele around the world, I am attempting to assist in finding the house of a client’s son tasked with selecting a chandelier his parents are buying for him.

He hasn’t made a decision yet and we’re in the area, so why not sample each antique light fixture in the room?

His mother, the client, greets me in the driveway. I am surrounded by a stone wall, canopied by a walnut tree and flanked by flowers growing through cracks. A dog pokes his snout through the fence in welcome.

She tells me the house where she grew up had one of Mrs. Crick’s chandeliers (how the business was known in the early years), one hangs in her house and now she’s delighted to carry on the tradition with her son and his wife. This gift of lighting up a dark room where her grandsons gather in the evening isn’t for a birthday, anniversary or special occasion. No, it’s something much better than that.

Join me here for the rest of the story at Grace Table, where we are celebrating the one year anniversary of hospitality around the virtual table. And receive a download of a gorgeous cookbook here with fall/winter recipes. My recipe for granola is on one of the pretty pages.

It’s About Time I Tell You About Our Church

This is day 28 in a series: 31 Letters from London. And it will be the last installment as I have lost my mind thinking I could write every day in October while at the same time, finish the manuscript for my first book. Oy Vey! Idealism is good but not when you need to be realistic. If you are interested in reading from day one, begin here and find the collection of letters here.


It’s about time I tell you about St. Barnabas, Kensington (STBK), the church who brought us here to London.

I have put it off because I don’t have proper pictures to show you of the amazing people who have wrapped their arms around us. And I don’t have time to tell you about the history in this beautiful structure built in 1829 with stained glass windows created by the famous Edward Burne-Jones. But see what I just did there? I linked you up if you are interested in learning more.

I have trouble writing about this because it feels almost sacred to put words on the way God links us with people, places and purpose.

The first time we walked up the concrete steps into the blue doors of this historical church, people standing in a circle broke apart as soon as they laid eyes on us. I felt like the bride and groom finally arriving at the reception after a long photo shoot across the ocean.

Except instead of toasting us with well wishes, they encircled us and prayed fervently with thanksgiving, prophesying hope like family members.


H is only a part time vicar. He was asked to come to St. Barnabas as an associate, tasked with something unusual. The pastor and his wife were sensing their time leading the church was coming to an end so because of H’s broad experience, they asked him to coach and lead the church through a transition.

Most people don’t want to enter a new place or position during a season of upheaval but not my man. This is where he thrives well in his gifting. H is fulfilling the role of leading the church through an interim period (or Interregnum as the Anglicans call it), the process of searching for a new vicar.

And here’s a little secret. I wasn’t too excited about H pastoring again. We were enjoying sitting in the audience instead of arranging chairs and standing behind pulpits. But I can’t wait until Sunday morning arrives now. Not kidding.

Generosity, faithfulness and commitment are qualities we look for in a partner for marriage. We found the right match in St. Barnabas. We are thankful.


The other day my friend Deidra asked this question on Facebook: “Home. What is it? Is it a place, a concept, an experience? How do you define, home?”

I responded. Home isn’t a place as much as a sense of belonging. It is the place where you can be fully yourself, accepted, loved and cherished for who you are, not what you do.

The people at St. Barnabas welcome in a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting with all your neighbors in your grandparents kitchen eating a stack of pancakes covered in maple syrup. Just because they know pancakes are your favorite. We are home.

All those months when we were waiting to move to London, weeping and wondering why God was silent, they were waiting too. While we were preparing for a cross cultural move, God was preparing the people to receive us.

Waiting isn’t a solitary endeavor. While you are waiting, biting your fingernails and stressing out about the unknowns to all your questions, God is pulling together a host of people, places and circumstances in a way that your mind cannot begin to fathom or compute.

Rest assured He is silent but He is never still.

He is working all things together for your good and His timing is perfect.


You can follow St. Barnabas on Twitter @STBKChurch and like us on Facebook @St. Barnabas Church Kensington and listen to sermons here. If you are visiting the city, we would love to see you!