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Dear Friends, I’m in a strange place at the moment having just come out of a stay in hospital. I think being in hospital automatically makes you feel vulnerable, though I found having a room of my own set me quite a challenge. On the one hand I loved having my own bathroom and toilet, space to move around, quiet when I felt like sleeping rather than being disturbed by snoring or anything else. On the other hand not knowing who my next door neighbour was, yet watching and listening to the great number of visitors led me to feel a little isolated. My joy increased tenfold when I did have visitors especially as I recognise the difficulties of getting to and parking at Southmead. I guess there’s a bit of a no win situation for the designers (is that the right word) of hospital wards. I absolutely loved all the cards and presents I received and have read them again and again, and the enjoyment of them continues at home. I would have loved to share them with everyone. One of the things I was given was a book of reflections and poems and one of the readings immediately hit the spot I found myself in. The reflection centred on the patience and kindness of God. The author was born and spent her childhood in the North East of England, (a direct connection point for me as I know my inability to say ‘book’ in the Southern way is still a cause of amusement to many). One thing that is common in the North East is the way people say ‘our mam; our dad; our sister’ and so on and this is what the reflection referred to. I know I still continue to speak that way without even thinking, I find myself saying ‘your Dave; your Miriam; or whoever, always placing that belonging tag in there somewhere. The author of the reflection talked about the blessings of being raised in a loving family which gave a sense of identity, even despite the misunderstandings, disappointments and hurts that families, often unintentionally, give. One of the things she recognised was that as a parent she could see the mistakes she’d made and how she wished she’d done some things differently (hands up those who feel that way.) So certainly when she went on to talk of how, deep down, we all long to be understood, accepted and loved for who we are, to be nurtured and enabled to fulfil our potential, I think her comments will resonate with most, if not all, of us There’s a distinctive connection to this reflection and the Easter season which points us towards that wonderful reading in Matthew 6 which is the Lord’s Prayer and which begins: ‘Our Father.’ In the original language it was written as ‘Our Abba’ in other words ‘Our Dad.’ Jesus speaks of us as his Brother. Stop for a moment, give those thoughts space. We belong to our Dad, we have our brother, we have a family that is amazing and growing and surprising us time after time after time. It’s an amazing thought that the events of that very first Easter restored the whole of humankind to that place of knowing the love of a Father, of a family that transcends all others. Jesus calls you and me his beloved, my beloved is mine and I am his own (think of that as referring to you.). Of course we all have a way to go, of course we’ll all be hurt and hurt others along the way. Hopefully the Holy Spirit will always continue his work in us. But above all that – accepting Jesus means we are the most privileged of people - we belong to God. Hallelujah. May the awareness of God’s Easter blessings fill your lives day after day. 4

Yvonne

April Outlook 2016  

The monthly magazine of the Sodbury Vale Benefice of churches

April Outlook 2016  

The monthly magazine of the Sodbury Vale Benefice of churches

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