The idea of transformation has always excited me. There is something magical and inspiring about it whether that be the transformation of a derelict garden, a clay pot dressed in a magnificent glaze, or a plastic toy in my son's hands transforming from car to robot! The best transformations, however, are those that happen in the lives of people.

My dictionary defines personal transformation as ‘a complete change in the appearance or character of someone, especially so that the person is improved'. Occasionally, I have had the privilege of witnessing this kind of transformation in my work.

I have met ex-clients of the foodbank whose lives have changed to the point that they have returned as volunteers. At Men’s Shed, folk have described how their new friendships have been crucial in turning their lives from deep loneliness to purposeful activity and at the night shelter, people with lived experience of homelessness are now part of the staff team.

Recently, I witnessed the transformation of a lady through the work of King’s Lynn Debt Centre. Rachel (not her real name) told me how she had been ignoring her debts and hoping they would somehow disappear. Instead, they grew and grew until she could see no way out. She felt she had no future. Fortunately, Rachel accepted help from the debt centre. Equipped with a debt plan, budgeting skills and a mentor, she was helped forward. She now says, “My life has turned around. I was swimming in debt and now life couldn’t be any better.”

Transformation is, of course, at the heart of the gospel message. The central appeal, to repent, means to change direction completely and to go in the opposite direction. Jesus took fishermen, zealots, tax collectors and prostitutes, transforming them into people who changed the world with his transformative message.

Paul experienced dramatic transformation on the road to Damascus. That event was the start of an ongoing process that he described as being ‘transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:2). And it was Paul who penned one of my favourite Bible verses, which was his own testimony to transformation:

‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20

I love to see transformation. It is inspiring. It builds my hope and fuels my vision. How exciting would it be to see transformation happening not only in individuals, but also in our communities and country?