“Beauty will save the world”

This week’s blog is written by Stef Miles who’s part of the TSM leadership team:

Over the recent months I have come to realise that many things in life excite me; maybe it’s the discovery of the new shows coming soon to Netflix or the satisfaction that comes in plunging my teeth into the fresh warm banana loaf my wife just baked in the oven.

Oh the little joys in life.

But nothing excites me more than the possibility of allowing God to express Himself in and through my life.

We exist because God is excited about the opportunity of expressing himself and finding the freedom of expression in our lives.

Yes, talking about Jesus is appealing- but allowing Jesus to make his appeal through me is an experience beyond comparison.

It has been such a treat to journey with this year’s students at TSM, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to help invest, train and equip these beautiful people to be everything God has called them to be. It makes my heart happy to witness Father finding expression of Himself in and through them.

We have had absolutely stunning moments out on the streets as people have encountered the love of the Father, experienced heavens compassion and seen glimpses of an unseen reality. Many lives have been touched and hearts have come to faith as a result.

My personal highlight from our times out on the streets together, was when we offered the passing shoppers ‘Free Hugs’. It was simply breathtaking to observe hundreds of hugs being shared and enjoyed as the team relentlessly and enthusiastically embraced the residents of Bedford, sometimes even most unlikely of characters came in for the hug.

The afternoon climaxed as a line of near on 30 people made up from some TSM team and a few random strangers (who also found joy in what we were doing), spanned the width of 5 or so shops and unashamedly invited the public for a hug. Scores of people running up and down the line, sometimes people even ‘double dipping’ ensuring they received every free hug that made them feel warm and bubbly on the inside. I even witnessed a few tears fall from the faces of passers by as the beheld the beauty of the scene that unfolded before them.

The atmosphere was electric and couldn’t help but enjoy the moment.

The world is crying out for love, acceptance and beauty. What I witnessed in those short moments was a reflection of what the church is called to be in this world. A place where people discover their value, beauty and dignity. A place where they discover the sacrificial love of Jesus.

Allow me to finish by quoting the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky.

‘Beauty will save the world’