I had a volunteer working with me yesterday called Jenny who very rarely joins me in the city centre chaplaincy work I do as she works full time in Cambridge. She had taken one of her holiday days off to hang out with me and my team reaching out to people in lots of different ways.
Every Thursday lunchtime there are even more volunteers who join me to have a ‘fixed point’ where people can find us and know that there is a safe place to talk. Yet on this particular lunchtime I was the guest speaker the passport office in Peterborough at a carol service; so my volunteers met without me. After they had prepared what they were doing Jenny noticed a young man had ventured into the church where we meet for a coffee. She just felt she needed to sit with him, so she pulled up a chair and simply did that.
I turned up an hour later and asked my team where Jenny was… much to my surprise I walked into the church building and saw her praying with this young man. To be honest, I kind of felt for the guy because it was a long prayer Jenny was doing!
Afterwards they came to speak with me and a story unfolded. This young man had been on the roof of a car park only two hours previously ready to jump. Things were desperate. He spoke about his heart ache and pain. But something just made him get down from the roof and venture into the town and find a place where he could get a coffee… Feeling better after talkling things through and being paryed for we then spend the rest of the afternoon with him until he can make a doctors apointment later that day.
‘What a coincidence’ he said, and he is even more amazed when we share about Jenny usually not being here and of all the places he ventured into there was someone who thought, ‘I need to sit with this guy.’ This young man said, ‘I feel like me eyes have been opened…’