I love Tommy Boyd.  He isn’t a Christian.  I don’t mean sexually.  He’s married.

I’m fed up of these people who keep turning up in my vicinity, or taking advantage of the fact that they are my neighbours, to piss their hallelujahs into my mind day and night.  It is mental rape and spiritual rape.

They made their decisions about what was right for them in the expression of their Christianity, and I have the right to make my own decisions as they do.  This harassment is monstrous.  Really, I mean it, it isn’t just a word.

Gabriel says you can’t have covenant relationships with non-Christians.  So why is he suggesting covenant with my Spanish psychiatrist, Dr Gallo, who doesn’t appear to ME to be a Christian?  Not even a competent person, let alone psychiatrist.

And if we can’t have covenant relationships with non-Christians, I suppose that knocks out our relationship with our own country and its structure and leaders?  Not all covenants are covenants of equals.  Each party has different strengths and weaknesses, and also different degrees of power.

They accept tax relief at KT, and that is a covenantal position, but at the same time they would insist that government leaders are not Christians, as some of them would insist on that themselves.

I think we need to get real.  There is Christian covenant, and there is the wider and more necessary covenant of humanity, at least the way our society operates.  As Christians we are often dependent on non-Christian food suppliers (we go to restaurants, and meals are traditionally covenantal things in many cultures).  {edit: Most of our information and education and our ideas of how to do things, even methodologies for asserting the Christian position and keeping ourselves separate comes from non-Christian sources, even among the ancients, some of whom are purported to be Christian, but not all.  We communicate, some of us try to, with the world using the style of the world, then say they need to repent and say there can’t be a covenant relationship unless they do.  I saw Jack Dee’s face in my mind as I said that.  He was on ‘The One Show’ the other day.  They’ve put up a commorative plaque to him somewhere saying ‘Jack Dee woz here’.  I sent Tommy a card like that years ago, from Chichester where he lives, through the post, I think.  I’m sure I must have called at his house first.  I think I tried, with a biro or rollerball, to make it look like something carved on a tree.  I woz ‘ere.  End of edit insert}.  [I’m not sure what this is about, possibly a total coincidence, but a loud wailing siren has started to go off outside my room, like a wartime warning signal.  I checked it with the receptionist and she says it is a test.  As I started to write about it, it moved away].

I am afraid of the fact that I am a Christian and Tommy isn’t.  But I think he can be a kind, supportive friend, and I have felt him to be.  He is an expert (or at least well educated and experienced) in his field, he is someone I have communicated with a lot, and I’ve been close enough to him physically (I’ve sat in his car, on the front seat, next to him) to have flashes of recollection of someone with very strong feelings.  Before that, I think, I commented to him about the fact that his hair, which he had had shaved, he told us on the radio, had grown back and, perhaps I misinterpreted it but I don’t think so, he got all touchy about it.  He found it too invasive or something.

I’ve seen and heard him cry, I’ve seen and felt his anger, I think he is centred and committed and very unified within himself, he is full of fun and energy and at the same time very serious and conscientious.  I think he is a living sword.  Mercurial and intelligent and quick to perceive and identify and to try and supply what is needed.

I don’t know what his vulnerabilities are.  Pain can limit and drive.  He is obviously a driver and a contender, and whatever his vulnerabilities and limitations I think he can be trusted to be truthful and honest and to speak and act with integrity and to say he is wrong if he thinks he is.

As far as I am concerned he doesn’t have to perform or convince or persuade.  He never has had, from the first time I heard him speak.  I think he might see himself to be weaker than he is, and if anything would frighten me, that would.  I think he is such an absolutely worthwhile human being and he doesn’t realise it.  I think he doesn’t feel his personal and intrinsic worth and value as a human being, augmented by the kind of human being he is, or believe in it as much as, it seems to me, he has a right to.

Sorry, Tom, if this embarrasses you.  Is it persuasive enough?