Thursday, November 12, 2009

So many gifts

are given, unlooked for, in ministry.
Over the past few weeks, I've been ministered to again and again by V., as she and her husband together looked honestly at her cancer, shared longings, griefs, hopes and fears...Bless them, they included me unconditionally on this journey, and whenever I visited I came away refreshed, encouraged. They trusted me with so much, affirmed my priesthood in countless ways, blessed me whenever I encountered them.

I visited with Communion yesterday, but V didn't feel up to receiving, so instead I left her a holding cross I'd bought for her in Bath last week, and that lovely prayer of Augustine's that gets me through even the most anxious nights. We agreed that we'd pray it together sometime around 10.00 most evenings, but tonight it wasn't even 9.30 when I answered the phone to hear that V had gone quietly home to God two hours ago. I wish I had been able to pray with her one more time. In her dying, as in her life, she gave a great deal and I thank God that I knew her.

These words by the ever wonderful Stewart Henderson are not mine to post, but I hope I'll be forgiven as they say so much of what I'm feeling tonight.
Go well, eternal rest and light perpetual.

this day in paradise
new feet are treading through
high halls of gold

this day in paradise
new legs are striding over jewelled fields in which
the diamond
is considered ordinary

this day in paradise
new eyes have glimpsed the deep fire ready
to flame the stale earth pure

this day in paradise
new blood, the rose red juice that gushed at golgotha
now ripples and races down the pure veins
of a recently arrived beloved

this day in paradise
a new heart pounds in praise
a new body shaped by sacrifice

this day in paradise
the daunting dart of death
has no point
no place
and no meaning

and whilst we mourn and weep
through these human hours
this day in paradise
the blazing embrace
between saviour and son goes on and on and on...

(by stewart henderson)


Graham said...

Thank you for that.... I know you didn't write it for that reason, but it was both poignant and beautiful. Thanks too for the reminder of what is the most important in ministry..

Crimson Rambler said...

what a lovely thing, Kathryn, thank you!