I spent some time this morning being buttonholed by enthusiastic people trying to push copies of Michael Nazir-Ali’s latest book at me. The first time round I tactfully declined, already having a large bag of promotional materials. The second time, I explained I really didn’t want one, given the way in which +Michael’s words have been twisted in and by the media to make him a less than helpful voice on the ground in many of my Muslim majority areas. I also explained how much I would have preferred his voice in person than in print. The third time round, I was in a hurry, did the Anglican thing, and caved in. I’ll look forward to reading and perhaps even reviewing his book here, sometime after this conference.
Someone at lunch said of it “Remaindered — already?” “No, no,” I said. “Very odd, then,” said my companion. “How extraordinary to sit twenty miles up the road, refusing to talk with the rest of us, but choosing instead to address us in print.” I understood, of course. I tried to explain that Love has many languages, and remote control bombing people with paperbacks from twenty miles away is just one of them.
Our conversation petered off the subject of +Michael, and into tales we all had of teenage children who had gone off in a sulk and could only be brought back into the family, sometimes after many years, by remaining open to them, whilst refusing to be carried away into angry responses by their childishness, lest any of us say things we would later regret.
On to the Sexuality hearings — the lowest attended of any so far, by a fair old way... and at the microphone as I speak, it’s 11 UK, North American bishops and 2 from the rest of the world. If it doesn’t rain I may go off for a run...