Ethan Freckles

The Many Ways God Blessed Me Today

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It’s around 10pm UK time as I type. I wanted to just post a reflection on the ways that God has blessed me today, even as my personal circumstances have been challenging. I want you to know that your prayers for me have not been in vain and that I’m currently feeling relaxed, grounded, and positive.

There’s a YouTube video I’ve been watching on repeat in recent weeks. The video features ultra-minimalist Ethan Freckles (pictured), who lives a nomadic lifestyle and survives by foraging for discarded food items in trash cans. He sleeps outside every night. You can watch a short interview with him here.

I thought of Ethan this morning, as I was considering how I would be able to sustain myself with a very tight budget in the coming days. And then, God surprised me with a little miracle. I was walking along one of the roads here in South London and there was a bench on which was an array of discarded rubbish, including mostly near-empty fizzy drinks bottles. Among the bottles I noticed a surprising sight β€” a sealed tub of noodles! This must have been someone’s intended packed lunch, as it was tightly hand-wrapped in cling film. To begin with, I felt a little uneasy about the possibility of picking this up and taking it for myself. This is partly because society instills in us a fear of germs and such, and I didn’t know what ingredients were in the container or where it came from. I was also concerned about stealing. But while I was walking off and leaving the pot of noodles among the discarded rubbish, I thought of Ethan Freckles and how surely this noodle surprise was a blessing from God. So I picked it up and put it in my bag!

I’m delighted to say that when I had the noodles for dinner this evening they were absolutely delicious, containing large pieces of chicken, some vegetables, and a lovely sauce. I really enjoyed them! Thanks be to God. Mr Freckles would be proud of me!

I was a little early arriving at my hotel this afternoon and my room wasn’t ready yet, so I took a walk around the nearby shopping area and found a bench on which to rest. My shoulders were sore from carrying my heavy 40 litre backpack all day, and it was nice to just sit and rest for a while. After sitting on the bench for around 20 minutes, I noticed that literally in front of my eyes there was a lamppost on which someone has stuck a notice about a drop-in service for homeless people! The service is run on Mondays by a local church. I took a snap of the notice with my phone, thinking how this was obviously an answer to the prayers of the incredibly kind readers of this blog.

And this wasn’t the end of today’s blessings. The room I checked into in the hotel happens to be kitted out for accessibility, which means that it’s very spacious. The bathroom is huge! I love having the space because in the past I have been prone to panic attacks. And of course everyone enjoys a bit of extra space in their accommodation as it creates calm and peace. Thanks be to God!

I was feeling quite anxious earlier and spent some time in prayer, and listening to the Qur’an. I was in floods of tears listening to surahs about the inevitability of the day of judgement, and the way God is going to put right every wrong. I thought about my neighbour, who has been behaving so unkindly in the building where I’ve been living, and I was comforted knowing that while he lives a life of lies and aggression on Earth, he will one day face God and be called to account for everything he has done. I know that to some Christians it might seem unkind of me to be comforted knowing that judgement is coming, and I have also been mindful of Jesus’ teaching about loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us. I have yet to reconcile my understanding of the emphasis on justice in the the Qur’an with the emphasis on forgiveness in Christianity. This is partly why I’m writing my work-in-progress book titled ‘Divine Justice’ β€” to discuss these issues.

I wanted to say a huge thank you once again to everyone who read my posts today, and especially everyone who prayed for me. Three blog posts in one day is unusual for me (I don’t think I’ve ever done it before) but it has been an unusual day in many respects. I appreciate your support so much and please do keep me in your prayers. I’m going to say a prayer tonight for all readers of this blog as well. May God bless you abundantly for your kindness.

So do not be harsh with the orphan and do not chide the one who asks for help; talk about the blessings of your Lord.

(Surah 93: 9-11)

2 comments

  1. It seems like you are on a spirit quest. It’s beautiful to read about and your gratitude while facing things. You are being lead somewhere. Keep us posted!

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