Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Communion of Saints


We had a melt-down today a quarter of a mile away from our front door.  John was up ahead with Roan and Afon just collapsed at the light for the crossroads.  I sat with him on pavement in the cold, with the traffic going by, while he screamed and scorned all attempts at comforting.  A little  old woman spoke kindly to him and when I explained the situation, she said, "My heart goes out to you." A Middle Eastern man brought over some sweets to offer Afon and said he would come back in fifteen minutes.  A hipster backpacker with hot pink highlighted hair and beard asked, "Can I do anything to help, love?"

We were meant to be meeting the social worker that very minute, and she came out down the road, sat with us, and spoke softly and kindly to Afon.  We attempted several times to pick him up and carry him between us, but A. struggled so and we didn't want to cross the road with him like that.  So we called John, who brought the stroller and we were able to make it home.  When we crossed the road, I passed the Middle Eastern man outside his shop and put my hand out to him, saying "Thank you."  He squeezed it back and placed his free hand over his heart.

I will never forget his, or the others', kindness.  It occurs to me that God allows these bad/sad/challenging things to take place in our lives because he wants us to rise to the challenge.  It would be too easy for us to cry out to Him, for our Father to rush in and rescue us and make it all better.  But then we would never have the chance to be greater than ourselves.  To be stretched out of our comfort zones and into the hearts and pain of others.  We would miss the beautiful opportunity to be Christ to one another.  That's only what we mean when we talk about the communion of saints.

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