Sue withers 4

Sue Withers

A Cafe Near Oxford Street

More than 30 years ago I recoiled from the busyness as I travelled to a secluded Christian retreat through the centre of London.

And now I’m sitting in a cafe one minute from Oxford Street with two men from different countries.

My home and my work are five minutes away.

Who would have thought that this reserved, country-loving English girl would end up on an adventure like this…

I call it the adventure of following God into celibacy.

Sometimes it is hard to divide up my life into safe compartments.

I opened my heart to God and to the poor, and I find the passion of these commitments has impelled me forwards when my sense of personal comfort and security wanted to take me backwards.

For me celibacy is the means to an end: giving me time and emotional space to adopt the poor and to serve the broken.

It is also the joy of walking with a generous and faithful God and learning how this bounty can spill into our lives even at the toughest moments.

Sue Withers 3It has led me to do things I never planned to do: moving to London, learning to teach and making friends with homeless men.

And it has also taken me to a cafe near Oxford Street where I am helping my disabled friend to learn English and tell me of his frustrated dreams.

Celibacy: the joy of being set apart for God and for the poor.Sue withers 2

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