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  • Thank you...

    This landed onmy doormat (OK in my letter cage) a few minutes before this post.  I know that it is from someone at church, because we used these messages in our Not-the-Nativity Service and posted them out in January.

    I am touched that someone has kept their message and passed it on to me at a time when I am not exactly Little Miss Sunshine.

    So, whoever you are, thank you so much.  It was a lovely surprise and gladdened my heart more than you can know.  It's now pinned to the cork-board in my office.

  • Fascinating!

    Via social media someone sent me a link to part of a 15 minutes video from 1980.  It seems to have been filmed on a Sunday, with lots of people piling out of one of the nearby churches and a small number of people turning out of the street where the Gathering Place is located... so I wonder if anyone from there recognsises any faces?  Given these are mature people back in 1980 it's fair to say I almost certainly never met them!

    https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-great-western-road-1980-1980-online-online Hopefully if you click the link it'll take you there... Amusing to see where we currently worship as a building site...

  • Step by step, on and on...

    Way back (as in over 20 years ago) there was a kiddies' worship song that said, 'step by step, on and on, we will walk with Jesus 'til the journey's done...' which stuck in my mind (obviously) and which carries a message I found, and continue to find, helpful.

    As yesterday approached, I wasn't sure how it would feel or how it would be, I just knew that if I had too much time to dwell it would unhelpful.

    Yesterday's weather in Glasgow probably expressed my feelings well - a range of short, sharp showers and some glorious sunshine.

    Spending an evening with friends around my dinner table was a great distraction and very healing.  There were some full on belly laughs at stories people shared; there were deep matters explored with a lighness of touch and of spirit; there was much food consumed; the kitties were absolutely amazing in their chilled out, friendly engagement with so many humans.

    The first-first has been negotiated; none will ever be as significant.  The journey forward continues, step by step, on and on... 'Don't worry about tomorrow, Jesus knows the way ahead,' not, I suggest, in a pre-planned, pre-ordained way, but because he has lived as we live, and walked the same walk of love and laughter and loss.

    Today I really must create something to deliver on Sunday... it's a tricky passage and whatever I say could easily be misunderstood or misinterpretted so much care and much wisdom is needed. over to you, then HSp.

  • Major First...

    The "eighth of the eighth"... my Mum's birthday, and exactly three months (to the day rather than the date, which is tomorrow) since she died. Sometimes being a person who is wired to 'do' dates is a bane rather than a blessing!

    It has felt strange not choosing a card, not ordering flowers, not booking somewhere to take her for lunch (which I would have done on Monday, as the scored through note on my calendar reminds me).

    And it has felt deeply sad not being able to do those things.  The strange tension of not missing getting up at 4 a.m. to catch the train with the empty place that is left behind.  The gladness that she is free from all the frustrations and limitations and the regret that she never did get the party she wanted, because she had no recollection of the one we did for her 80th (at which this photo was taken).  The certainty that we parted well and the ongoing 'I must tell Mum' moments.

    I'm not sure how I feel today - or how I am 'meant' to feel (so often I tell other people that however they feel is right, but even so...)

    So for now, I share this photo of a happy day, and which, for me at least, has good associations, and I remind myself that she is at rest, held safe in the love of God... as, indeed, am I.

  • Found by a (toy) cat?!

    A week ago, as I was making my way to the station, to come home from Edinburgh, I found - or perhaps was found by - this toy cat, who was at a bus stop.  I thought someone had dropped him, so I called after them - no.  I quickly got on the bus at the stop to see if someone had dropped him getting on - no.  I did my best via social media and hashtags and stuff to find his owner - he's brand new, still got his tags, and maybe some child was weeping for him.  No joy.

    So, today I named him Leith, because that's where I found him - or he found me.  He's now on top of a bookcase full of hymnbooks.  He is a cute reminder of a fun weekend, and of the special friends with whom I spent it.