It has been a long day - I have just got in from the trip to Skegness which ended with three hours in A&E with one of our folk who'd tripped and broken her wrist. It has been a good day, and one of those when, depsite being exhaustificated, you kind of know why you do this crazy job. I did not study theology in order to spend my time sitting in hospital waiting rooms, but having studied theology affects the way I handle it.
It was a good day because our 40 oldies enjoyed themselves - whether they saw the sea or not. Several spent all their time in the shops sheltering from the showers and missing the gorgeous sunshine that came sporadically.
It was a good day because the church who hosted us enjoyed themselves - their first foray into mass catering, and a wonderful success.
It was a good day because there was time to sit and listen to a brass band in some quintessentially English public gardens whilst sat on a park bench under an umbrella supping insipid tea from a paper cup.
It was even a good day when I had to rush home, pick up my car, and then head off the twenty miles to our nearest A&E.
It was the band who somehow pulled it all together though. After a diverse programme of Sousa, Sullivan, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and other things I vaguely know but cannot recall the composers or singers they closed 'with a hymn.' As the strains of 'In Heavenly Love Abiding' filled the air, I wondered if this was a deliberate choice to reflect the weather ('bright skies will soon be o'er me, where the dark clouds have been') or just something that finished off a pleasant couple of hours. I don't know, but the words of the old hymn running through my mind seemed to connect things together...
Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back
My shepherd is beside me and nothing shall I lack
His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim
He knows the path He taketh, and I will walk with Him.
There is something strangely reassuring in knowing that, even in the A&E car park at half past midnight, that is true.