We went to a Christening on Sunday. The Pastor of the church we go to in Brighton Chris, and his wife Natasha, were christening Anna their new baby. There wasn’t a font, but I couldn’t resist using the picture of the fountain in Trafalgar Square I took last Christmas. Tenuous link but I like the picture.  Chris used a jug of water to sprinkle onto Anna’s head. She did very well and did not holler, allowing her father to do this. She is an absolute sweetie obviously getting her radiant looks from her mother! It was fabulous for us to see friends from our church family and celebrate that time.

It was a baby morning. We also saw an excerpt of a BBC documentary on the birth of Jesus from The Nativity.  Finally the church prayed for our son Jon Freddy in a time of tears and hope.

Now I know it doesn’t matter what level of society you are as to how God hears your prayers. Indeed I read in the Bible that the lowliest will actually be those ahead of the mightiest in Heaven. However never being one to miss an opportunity we did grab our local Bishop last week and have him pray with one of our Parish Vicars for Jon as well. Of everyone praying though I was surprised and moved when introduced to one young man (I think he would be 11) who is praying for Jon to be healed, brilliant.

Last week we had a specialised heart scan on Jon. The findings were good! Come on my son. His heart is beating strongly, all four cavities are working and whilst a ventricular defect was identified, which is not unusual for babies of this age we were told, there were loads of good ratings.  The heart and brain development are obviously key factors, particularly for Trisomy 13 babies.

If you want to work in the entertainment business, I have heard, one should not speak of religion or politics. I have been in that place, although along the way I have been asked about God in the strangest places. This is added to my upbringing as an Ice Dancer of having to behave in a certain way to curry favour with judges. Those judges I was informed (shall we say) lacked integrity. So Christiane today brought to my attention that I was complicit in lacking integrity in how I dealt with them too! Maybe that’s why I hated it so, I though the whole world was like that. I loved the audience and hated the judges. Being a judge on reality TV then? Well I got therapy and ITV paid. Thank you ITV.

Well now, at the tender age of 54, facing a ‘life and death’ situation as a father fighting for the life of my son, I am getting over being worried about what people think or may say about me. Which, as you can read, in the context of my upbringing and various forays in the sports and entertainment world is quite a step forward. I used to hear people say that they did not care what people thought. But I did and, of course I still do. I like it if someone finds value in what I create. I don’t like it if people are aggressive and swiping via the internet to share disdain. It’s how much I care though that’s the key. Now I care what God thinks rather than what man thinks. I give my absolute best shotand try to walk in a way I believe is right. Then it’s for others to choose what they think of that.  And, importantly, for me to recognise that’s their stuff and that’s fine. It doesn’t define me then what people think of me…

As this process unfolds I  happily acknowledge that I may be totally unemployable in an entertainment context in the future. One raisin short of a fruitcake may be a (more repeatable) description given to me by others. Strangely, this is quite liberating. A bit like coming out of a jail. It’s almost like ‘coming out as a Christian’ is more taboo than being gay in our society. Or maybe that’s just my impression?

So, not only has Jon inspired me to write and publish music, he is calling his father to stand stronger in his faith; no matter what the world may say about that. Jesus came that I might have life and life in all its fullness. He came to win me freedom by dying himself. It occurs to me that standing in that place of freedom, and saying this is who I am, lifts my head above the parapet and firmly places me in a battle. We are in a war zone as a family facing, what in medical terms is, a dead-end for Jon already. So no change there then.  As every father who’s been through this might agree, if you reach the bottom line, crying out for help to God is a more attractive option.

To those not facing these circumstances this is perhaps extreme, crazy and not applicable in normal life. But to any soldier who has a battle coming up the next day, to anyone facing their last moments, or anyone facing a situation where there is no hope, then maybe it makes more sense.

So I may be unemployable but I am writing loads and somehow freer.

This was Nicky Slater ORSOAF reporting.


Love N



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