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- Page 5

  • The Parable of the Dry Feet!

    Not the most lovely photo ever, but an honest one - my feet having a much needed soak in warm soapy water ready for me to exfoliate and moisturise them!

    I've never been one for pampering, not remotely girly in that regard, but mostly I look after my skin - except my feet.  They get neglected.  Washed daily, dried carefully, then put to work pounding pavements, or climbing stairs, or just generally stuffed into shoes or sandals and stood on.

    Recently I had for some reason looked at my feet, and realised what a terrible state they were in - heels so dry they had no colour (thankfully not yet cracked, but it wouldn't be long), toes with dry skin flaking off of them... not a pretty sight.

    So I finally made the time to sit down and take care of them.  Twenty minutes soak, the website advised, so I did that. Rub with a pummice stone it said - I don't have one but my 'style file' seemed to do a good enough job.  Massage with oil - the baby oil I keep in for anointing came into its own.  Put on socks and sleep in them - in this heat? Well OK.

    I used the twenty minutes to reflect and to pray - something else that all too easily gets squeezed out when I am busy doing good, Godly, stuff. I smiled to myself as I saw a parallel between my soles and my soul, each in need of a little TLC.

    The website tells me I need to tend my feet for several days to restore them, which means I need to make time for repeating this procedure daily for a couple of weeks, and thereafter on a regular basis. My soul, likewise, needs time to soak in the love of God, to have its dry edges smoothed, and to be anointed with moisturising, refreshing oil of God's Spirit.

    I don't promise you photos of my restored tootsies - I'm not sure they would ever win prizes for their appearance - nor will I share my prayers.  But I do know what both are needed and each is beneficial.

  • #NHS70

    I am very grateful for the NHS, in all its guises and with all its limitations.

    I could reel off a long list of places (and indeed elsewhere have done so) but it's really about people...

    In no particular order...

    The porter who grabbed a box of tissues for me so that I oculd blow my nose when I had a post chemo chest infection and needed an urgent chest X-ray.

    The specialist nurse who literally held my hand as core biopsies were taken.

    The health care assistant who kept watch over my mum when her UTI and failing health resulted in her wandering and falling, if not constantly observed.

    The lady (she was quite old and ladylike!) in the WRVS cafe who served me tea in a china cup

    The paramedic who saw me still sitting in the A&E waiting room after a couple of hours and made time to ask how my dad was.

    The consultant who said 'can we get those fluids ... now would be good' when I had a life threatening adverse drug reaction.

    The anaesthetist who, when I told her I was scared, said, 'of course you are, I would be...'

    The night nurse who told me, necessarily over the phone, of my mother's death, taking time to ensure I knew what had happened and what had been done.

    My family and I have been very blessed - we have received the very best of NHS England and NHS Scotland.  Never have we been stuck in A&E, never have we been denied or unable to access the best, and even, in the case of both parents, pioneering, treatments. By chance or serendipity or somesuch we have always lived close to some of the nation's/nations' top hospitals and had access to expertise not available elsewhere.

    The NHS is a wonderful thing, it really is.  It's not perfect.  The postcode lotteries that have served my family well continue to disadvantage others.  What makes sense in one nation may not be viable in another due to geography, demography and size - comparisons are not always helpful or meaningful.  If we could take a moment and simply recognise how blessed we are - wherever we live in these islands - to have the NHS, and to commit ourselves to supporting its flourishing in all places, then that would be a good way of marking #NHS70. 

  • '... and your daughters shall propehesy'

    Worth a quick look here to read about last week's conference, and some stuff already coming from it.