Rector’s Weekly Letter – 7th May 2020

Dear friends,

It was Jeanette who shared this image with me last week, just a few days after she had lost her beloved dog, Bella. A friend had sent it to her with a verse from Isaiah:

Don’t worry. I’m beside you.

There’s no need to be afraid. I’m looking after you.

I’ll give you the strength and help you need.

I’ll hold you firmly and safely in my hand.

(Isaiah 41.10)

When my Sean was a baby he would often only fall asleep in the evening when his father picked him up and held him in his arms. I can still see his whole body relaxing as he snuggled into Davie’s chest, his anxiety melting away. This is what it’s like, in my experience, when we put our lives into the hands of Christ. A sense of peace and security enters our hearts. Our worries and fears are put into perspective. We relax knowing that we’re not alone. We don’t need to fight to stay in control any longer. We can lay down whatever it is that is troubling us and let it go. We can find rest.

The same thoughtful friend subsequently sent Jeanette the following words by the French philosopher and priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

‘I’ve come to think that the only, the supreme, prayer we can offer up, during these hours when the road before us is shrouded in darkness, is that of our master on the cross, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum (into your hands I commend my spirit). To the hands that broke and gave life to the bread, that blessed and caressed, that were pierced . . . to the kindly and mighty hands that reach down to the very marrow of the soul, which mould and create; to the hands through which so great a love is transmitted. It is to these that it is good to surrender our soul, and above all when we suffer or are afraid. In doing so there is great happiness and consolation.’

My prayer for each one of us during these troubling times has been that we feel held in the hands of the One who will never let go of us. In God’s keeping we are set free to be ourselves more truly than ever before and to be a blessing for others. We are enabled to respond in the midst of a storm with a strength and a wisdom that is not our own. As we are held, we in turn are empowered to reach out and hold those in need of our support and prayers.

With love to you all,