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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 21

23 August, 2015

They say things come in threes. Well, my dentist is probably rather pleased, and I am certainly not, that since the Parish Mission I have needed a tooth extraction, root canal treatment, and have an implant scheduled to replace a third problem tooth. After the joys of Bp Stephen's visit, I have been spending far too much (and money) time oscillating between intense pain and the numbness of pain relief. In an odd sort of way, however, this experience has deepened my prayer life as much as the Mission did. I have been reminded that God is with us through our pains and struggles as much as in the mountain-top experiences. It is easy to blame God for sickness and feel resentful; but that really misses the point. Disease is a fact of life, and certainly not something that God sends (despite some very juicy Bible readings — such as the Book of Job). In sickness and in health God's invitation is the same: turn to me, go to the well, and there you will find living waters. At our Wednesday prayer group recently the Bookroom Manager, Carol O'Connor, shared a poem that she wrote during the Parish Mission; it touches on this truth.

Go to the well,
    go to the silence,
the things you miss, long for, remember,
to the words on the page
    you read again and again.

Go to the light splintered
    with darkness.

Go to Christ
    and let him be the cloak of an angel
    who wraps warm wings around you.

Go shatter illusion, distraction, desire,
    go and clear the eye
    so that tears dissolve you.

Go to the well
    where hell will find you
    and heaven release you
    into waters that heal you
    again and again.

Each day, each heart-beat,
   go to the well, go to the well.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster



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