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  • Reflecting with Others

    Last night I stayed over with a minister friend in London. We chatted long and laughed and shared all manner of stuff. And it was good. And I think in the sharing each of us made new connections or discovered new truth.

    Today on my train ride home I read a book my friend recommended and started to prepare thoughts for a sermon.


    Sometimes it is only in sharing the mundane and ordinary that the spiritual or divine breaks through.

  • A taste of heaven?

    Last morning in Massy was spent at the Baptist Church meeting the Pastor. His English and my French were roughly of equal standard, so our Link Missionary did a fair bit of translation.



    At the end of the meeting we prayed with and for each other and for our churches. No miraculous comprehension but we each got the gist of what the others were praying   It was very beautiful and, for me, a foretaste of heaven.

  • Accents...

    Yesterday afternoon I visited the French Baptist headquarters, a delightful suite of rooms a climb of some seventy odd steps from ground level. Here I met lovely people who are colleagues of our link missionary and picked up a few leaflets to look at. To my surprise, I could understand at least 90% of what I was reading. But the cover of the magazine momentarily threw me... an edition devoted to fishing? Well, OK, kind of Biblical I guess, maybe a bit if fun in the titling? No, it was about sin... Same letters, same order, different accents.


    Peach, fish or sin... it all depends on the accents.


    Made me smile and made me think about the ability of the tiniest punctuation mark to radically change meaning or reception.


    Plenty of English words that are way more confusing because we don't use accents in writing... Which also made me think.


    Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone from a platform that's not entirely mobile friendly is a good challenge!

  • Resonance and Dissonance

    Today I spent six hours volunteering at The Show, Scotland, a big fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care . It was physically demanding and I was on my feet for almost the whole time. From helping to set out  the tables via selling goody bags to hosting three tables, it was varied and fun.

    After the fashion show itself one of the models shared her story... Symptomatically diagnosed at 47 and recalling standing on a street in Glasgow where I had stood minutes after my own diagnosis, her story had a resonance was surprisingly strong. But equally strong was the dissonance: like me, she large tumour - actually hers was larger than mine - but the sting in the tale was that, unlike me, her cancer had already metastasized. 

    I have always known that I was lucky, that weeks or maybe months later, and my story would have been very different,  it was in the dissonance I felt that very acutely.



    In  both the similarities and in the differences I find connections, am reminded how fragile and precious life is, and give thanks.


    Tonight, as I travel first class, feast on delicious food and consume as much tea as I desire, I am humbled and uplifted in pretty much equal measure.


    PS typing on a snazzy phone even with intelligent predictive text my propensity to typos is not so easily dealt with have

  • Annual Leave...

    Tomorrow I begin a week's annual leave, and am really looking forward to a change of pace and a change of surroundings.

    My leave begins with a six hour volunteering stint with Breast Cancer Care, Scotland, as I am working behind the scenes at their annual fund-raising event called The Show.  Male and female models, of all shapes and sizes, and each having had a breast cancer diagnosis, will be 'strutting their stuff' on the cat-walk.  I think this will be quite demanding physically, but it is good to give back to this charity, and I can sit down for a few hours afterwards!

    Next is the utter self-indulgence of a first class train ride to London, where I will stay overnight at a minister-friend's manse before heading back to St Pancras to travel cheapy-creepy class on the Eurostar to Paris with three of my 'chemo buddies' as we celebrate life and enjoy a new place.

    Whilst in Paris, I will meet up with our BMS link misisonary, who has arranged for me to visit the projects she works with.  I am excited to see her 'in context', to see the projects, and finally to meet her rather wonderful dog!

    Back to London and another overnight with my minister friend before the final treat of a first class train ride back to Glasgow and normality.

    I am ashamed to admit that, apart from two days in July, this is the first annual leave I've taken for over a year.  Small wonder that I am tired then.

    All of this is by way of saying, I won't be around in Blogland for a week or more, but it doesn't mean I've disappeared for good.  I will be back, refreshed and relaxed (I hope) in just over a week from now, maybe with new stories to share.

    Six years ago, I could never have imagined I'd see this day, and now here it is.  I stopped counting the friends I have made and lost along the way, especially as most of them had better initial prognoses than mine.  But I haven't forgotten them, and as I enjoy the next few days, I will take a few moments to pause, reflect and give thanks.

    Jesus said, consider the lilies of the field, they do not labour, neither do they spin...

    Jesus said, consider the birds of the air, they do not sow, neither do they store up in barns...

    Live each day as it comes, make the most of it, be grateful for it... if I have learned nothing else, I have learned this.


    Oh, and if any potential burglars happen to read this, be advised the clepto-kitties are on guard and are not to be messed with!