It’s easy when you’re aware of all that’s wrong in the world to feel despondent. But two things I’ve read over the last week have warmed my heart.
In the aftermath of the controversial vote in the Church of England’s General Synod to continue with the status quo and not consecrate women bishops, my facebook and twitter feeds have been full of disappointment and hurt. I think quite a few of my readers know @RevArun from twitter, I read this and I have to say in the midst of the gloom it raised a smile:
“Just been told my 4 year old daughter’s response was to shout “it’s a disgrace” on being told of #synod result by my wife.”
And then I read a blog post which brought a tear to my eye. Dianne is someone who started commenting on my old Glasgow photo blog a few years ago, and when I returned to her blog to say thank you I loved her blog and her writing and her take on life, and she has become one of my favourite online buddies. The last few years the blog has been enhanced with the regular adventures and words of wisdom of her granddaughter Hope. A couple of weeks ago Dianne and her family and neighbourhood were in the midst of coping with Hurricane Sandy, which was a real worry, and she talked a bit about it on the blog once she got power back. The last word though has to go to Hope: 3 year old wisdom.
It’s so easy to be cynical the longer you see the world and some of the numpties who run it, but these two examples of strong, cool girls have given me so much hope that the future can be better.
Nobody who’s a regular reader of the wibsite community’s blogs will have failed to notice that many of our number (the Swansea contingent) are mourning the loss of a dear friend. See tributes here from Alice, Lemly, Jacqui, Sarah, Bimble, and Lanark, amongst others. On the way home today I was thinking about Mike, whom I’d never met, but who because of the blogs here and the tributes and grief of people here I regard as friends had entered my consciousness over the last 24 hours. And when I logged on this evening to the wibsite something that Nessa said here summed up exactly what I’d been thinking: “. . . and so therefore we loved him too by the complete circle of meaning and importance that real friends create.” I never met Mike, I never will now, but thanks to the tributes here and the testimonies of his life and character by people I know and love, my life is touched too, however peripherally.
While I was thinking about what I’d read yesterday and today about Mike, I remembered a picture I took a few weeks ago of some graffiti on some derelict land not too far from me here, which I think was done by a group who reclaim this sort of land. Here it is, it’s a bit dark, but the writing says “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”:
I was thinking about how it could be thought that Mike going to India could be seen as senseless in the eyes of the world, when there is so much pressure to strive for possessions, relationships, careers, money, here at home. And yet, the fact that he was not only prepared to go but acted on that desire turned that senseless desire into an act of beauty.
May Mike rest in peace and rise in glory, and may his friends and many loved ones know God’s comfort in their great loss. +++