Manchester

Manchester.

Where it all began. My journey.

It was here. It was along these streets in the long, shadowed days when the trees were greener, the buildings were fewer and the summers were longer and sweeter. There was a small house on a blossom-filled avenue that my parents had bravely bought and placed all their dreams inside.

That was my home.
It is good to go back to where it began; it makes you understand.
Sometimes only by looking backwards can there be a way forward. We all have elastic, silver threads tied to the memories of yesterday that carry us into today.
Could I see what I would become? How bits of me would be sculpted, molded, pressed and carved out? That I would leave a mess of shavings and sweat and scars everywhere I went?
Did I know what was hidden inside me in the lining of my heart?
Did I know what I might need to pack to travel from here to there?
Did I know that I would need so much patience?
Did I know that I would need so much love?
Did I know that I would need so much grace?
Did I know that I would need so much mercy?
No one can know.
But regularly my heart is slowly nudged into the groove of its first loves.
For the hungry. For the homeless. For the lost. For the hopeless.
For a generation, a generation that lost fathers.
A generation who looked at the world and felt hopeless.
A generation who felt hungry for change but empty when they looked at their lives and those around them.
For a generation who wandered, wounded in the dark, looking for a place to call home.
So I extend grace.
So I pray for mercy.
So I press in with patience.
So I love them, and I pray they will do the same for me.

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