If I stand in my kitchen and look out of the window, I can watch the various helicopters take off and land. Often when I am out walking I hear the familiar whir of rotors and look up to see the distinctive yellow or grey shape of one of the helicopters going about its business.
So waking up to the 7:30 national news summary which was a single story, telling me that the Police Scotland helicopter had crashed into a pub only around 2 miles from home was shocking, frightening and deeply upsetting. Logging in to Facebook the top notification was to let me know a minister friend in the Midlands had posted a messgae of support and prayer on my timeline - tears welled in my eyes.
Stockwell Street is a vibrant part of the dynamic city centre that is Glasgow, and on a Friday night it would have been hoaching with happy people enjoying themselves. Glasgow Royal is where I had my surgery, and the burns unit is underneath the wards where I was - it's fair to say the plastics wards will be full of people bumped to make room for critically injured people coming in. It is also likely that WIG, GGH and SGH, hospitals I know to an extent, will be treating some of the injured people.
I don't have any wise words right now, just an ache for those affected, concern lest any of 'my' people are directly or indirectly involved, and trust in a God who shares the pain...
On Police Scotland
On Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
On Scottish Ambulance Service
On NHS GGC especially GRI
On Glasgow City Council
On those directly involved
On their families and friends
Lord have mercy
Last night I was doing the epilogue for the group who meet for company and support at the Gathering Place. I used the gospel for Christ the King (year C) and centred on the 'bad' thief who just asked Jesus not to forget him, and was instead promised paradise...
Jesus, remember everyone affected by this tragedy
Wipe away tears
Embrace with love
Where possible fulfil hope
Where not fulfil your promise, which is, afterall the ultimate hope