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  • Take my hand...

    This morning was my second 'dog collar' activity this week, as I was visiting the care home where I offer very part time chaplaincy.  The nature of the place is that I seldom see people more than once, but there are few I am slowly starting to know. 

    What struck me this morning, as I prayed with a free presbystrian-cum-pentecostal, an Italian Roman Catholic, and assorted others in between, was that every one of them reached out and took my hand.  In an age when we hear so much about unwanted and inappropriate touch, when we are, rightly, cautious and aware of misunderstanding, it is the more precious when someone reaches out a hand seeking the comfort of your own.

    It also struck me, as I walked home, that I really ought to take with me a supply of holding crosses and rosary beads which can be offered to those who would find comfort in them (and I also need to re-learn the rosary prayers so I can do them with the Catholics)

    I find this chaplaincy role challenging, not my natural 'thing' at all, yet for all that, there are the moments, precious moments, when it feels that maybe what I am, and what I offer, is enough.  The dying person, the angry person, the fearful person, the lonely person... all reaching out, and all finding some comfort in the holding of hands.  Hmmm...

  • Resilience and Kindness - A Wedding

    The beautiful bride, and the person here-to-forth to be addressed as 'Reverend Madam'! (The MC at the wedding venue addressed me consistently by this title/epithet/title and it amused me greatly)

    A lovely day celebrating with a couple I have known for as long as they have been together.  Indeed when they met, I had just arrived in Glasgow and the new boyfriend heard rather a lot about this new minister.

    Nine years, and lots of love, laughter, tears and struggles later, they covenanted together in marriage.

    I can now add 'in a bar' to the list of places I have conducted a wedding ceremony (a terrace really, but it had a bar to one side).  The hotel was lovely, and the coastal setting truly stunning.  I met some lovely people and had some interesting conversations.  A number of folk went out of their way to thank me for the ceremony, including a (White British) Tibetan Buddhist who was thrilled that I had spoken of 'loving kindness,' which resonated with his beliefs.

    On #WorldKindnessDay it was a gift to be asked to speak on 1 Corinthians 13, to draw out the chief characteristics of  true love as resilience and kindness.  It was fun to share some daft gifts with the couple, and a joy to share in the service we had created together.  May they know God's richest blessings in their life together, now and always.

  • Be kind...

    Apparently it is #WorldKindnessDay this fact *may* be mentioned in the wedding address I will deliver this afternoon.  Meantime, be kind to yoursleves, gentle readers.