Blog: “Who do you say that I am?”

Our Canon Theologian Revd Canon Prof Martin Gainsborough asks how God acts:


I want to tell you about Carol – not her real name. 

Carol is in her 30s. I first met her moments after she had been assaulted. She was bleeding from her nose.

Carol is homeless. She’d been sleeping rough in Bristol. The police were trying to persuade Carol to make a statement.

"No, I don’t want to do that," she said, "because I don’t want to end up face down in the dock."

Her words have stayed with me. It is not a world I know. 

We asked Carol if she would like to come to the Cathedral. We could sit in the café. Carol said she might but she needed to get herself sorted out first. "Look, I am a heroin addict," she said. 

So, we went our separate ways and I haven’t seen Carol since.

But what I do know is that Carol has been coming into the Cathedral. Coming in, and writing long, heart-felt, prayers on our prayer table. Carol has three children who she is not with. "I miss you," she writes. "I can’t be with you, hold you. But I will always love you." 

And she continues: "I pray every day for the right direction to take, to find a way of life that is good and fulfilling, better than being homeless, safe and secure."

What love Carol shows! The love of a mother for her children. What faith!

How does God work? God is not found in the grand gestures, the press conferences or the policy pronouncements or the audacious schemes. God works through people like Carol. People who have lost everything. People who we might cross the street to avoid.

Jesus asks in Mark’s gospel: "Who do people say that I am?"

"Who do you say that I am?"


Find out more about the work of our homeless outreach team

Posted on 26th September 2018