You know by now my fascination with “The Repair Shop.” You will be pleased to know, that for Christmas, I was bought a copy of the book based on the series. In it, you learn in more detail about the background to the various items that feature in the series. The first chapter related to a pump organ that was brought over from Jamaica by Vera Mackenzie who was emigrating to join her husband Mac. Over time the organ was a comfort as the family were homesick and faced unimaginable racism. The expert ensured that the organ was restored and could be treasured for generations to come. When Vera and Mac died, their daughter received a message “You will only die when every person you have ever known has died.” This particularly struck me as I read it on the 19th January, the day when 1610 people died after testing positive for Covid. I worked out that even if you just said out loud the 1st and last names of these people, it would take you just under 25 minutes to finish. Sometimes we see these figures as statistics but each person is loved and will have left family and friends who are heartbroken.
In my article last February I mentioned Nadia Bolz Weber who is a Lutheran Pastor and over the summer I reread one of her books “Accidental Saints”. In it she writes about Ash Wednesday, which heralds the start of Lent and this year falls on 17th February. Usually at our Ash Wednesday Service there is the imposition of ashes to the forehead with the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return, turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”
Nadia writes, “Here`s my image of Ash Wednesday. If our lives were a long piece of fabric with our baptism on one end and our funeral on another and we don`t know the distance between the two, then Ash Wednesday is a time when that fabric is pinched in the middle and the ends are held up so that our baptism in the past and our funeral in the future meet. And in that meeting we are reminded of the promises of God. That we are God`s, that there is no sin, no darkness and yes no grave that God will not come to find us in and love us back to life.”
Words I am holding onto at the moment. God is present at the moment we enter the world and the moment we leave it.
With love, prayers and blessings