Doing God in public

Recent(ish) tweets on the Bible Society’s Take your Bible to Work Day (October 25th) started me thinking about what I do and don’t do in public. In the past I’ve happily read a Bible on my train journey to work and then scribbled in a prayer journal. Now I’m using an iPhone, I don’t carry a Bible with me – no need, when it’s all there on the phone. I do generally have a copy of Cover to Cover notes with me, though, and I am a fan of PAYG to listen to.

So some days I use the commute time and some days I don’t. The thing that stops me more often than anything isn’t a general concern about being seen to Do God in public. Rather, it’s my attitude when I get on the train – if I’ve not been the most patient person waiting for a seat, or I’ve had to jostle for elbow space. Somehow I never quite feel I can then whip the notes out and read today’s passage or listen to the day’s PAYG – I’d feel way too hypocritical. One of the first days I walked to work listening to PAYG I started it just as I left the train. Walking towards the ticket barriers, I listened hard and felt very holy. Got to the barrier, was held up by someone faffing, made the kind of disapproving noise that sounds like Muttley swearing. Laughed out loud as I thought to myself that I probably ought to start that particular prayerful meditation again once I was out of the station…

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