Message in a bottle

 Here’s my latest article for Christian Today…

Yesterday I hid 6 bottles around an estate with some members of a Baptist church that I work with as an artist. Each one looked quite good, decorated with various patterns and contained within a hand-written poem. We had a mixture of feelings as we walked around the high rise flats hiding them: We had hope that someone would be led to a bottle and open it up and read something of God’s love for them, but we also felt quite naughty as we prayerfully littered our bottles, longing that where we placed them wouldn’t be seen as causing a nuisance, rather a blessing.

This ‘message in a bottle’ idea isn’t just a wacky thing to do for the sake of it, believe it or not I’ve thought it through and I’ve come to the conclusion that non-confrontational ways of allowing people to discover something of the Christian faith work.

This approach has been an eye-opener for me. You see, I have the gift of the gab and love explaining at great lengths the good news of Jesus to people but often I experience that people seem to find my explanation neither good, nor particularly news. It’s when people ask me questions and have an opportunity to ‘have a go’ and participate in something of the Christian faith that the gospel seems to speak loudest and I offer some explanation.

So, these bottles were hidden in the community with the prayer that as someone found one, they would in turn hide it and pass it on. The poem was written by me as I sat in ASDA café enjoying a cup of tea. I must admit, even by my poetry standards it is quite cheesy! If you would like to copy it and have a go at hiding it in a bottle somewhere in your community, please do and let me know what happens!

Under the poem I had written: If this poem has helped you in any way, go and hide it back in the bottle for someone else.
Message in a bottle

This message is for you,
A kittle ditty, yes it’s true.
You’ve found it, tipped it out and now it’s in your hand.
That you would find it is somehow strangely planned.

It’s a poem to remind you how precious you are,
You are loved and known by God (do you know him?) He is not far,

God see’s your heart ache and also when things are just right,
Please keep going, keep strong. God wants to hold you tight.
You see, despite what you’ve gone through, you will always be God’s child.
When you were born, you weren’t a mistake, God smiled!

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