getting in retreat mood with Ardbeg

Today has been a day of very strange emotions.

We prayed a lot this morning as we had an ‘incident’ with a person who had not been taking their medication which resulted in the police needing to be called to section the person concerned. For the first time in ages I felt quite worried and scared for my personal safety and the safety of others in the cathedral at the time. The person is normally lovely and it was very sad seeing the effect of not taking the drugs that clearly help normally.

Later in the pub a good few people wished me well for Saturday as most were aware I am off on retreat tomorrow in preparation for ordination on Saturday afternoon. It was an interesting and quite surreal experience – unexpected and quite heart warming. I don’t really understand what is happening between me and this group of people, if anything, but there seemed to be a desire for things to go well.

This afternoon I received a phone call from Beth’s school as she had fallen and hurt her wrist. We went to casualty and after a wait x-rays showed her metacarpal to be fractured which is now strapped and awaiting a visit to the fracture clinic next week. Beth is doing fine and everything will be ok.

This visit was another quite weirdly emotional experience. Beth and I were an oddity in that we did not seem to have the whole family, including grandma, with us. I iid you not – this seemed to be very much like a day out for many people and was quite disturbing. The casualty department looked quite full with about 40 people in it …. but when I counted there were only about 10 patients with the other 30 or so family memebers. maybe I am being unkind, but it did seem weird.

More distressingly, many of these people seemed very needy and sad in themselves. I just felt a great sense of broken spirit in a negative way; these people seemed to have lost their self belief, their dignity and I felt very sad for them. That sounds patronising but it is not meant to be – I wanted to cry in prayer with God for these people.

It has really hit me today as I prepare to go away on retreat tomorrow how needy of love the world is. I became acutely aware that I cannot provide that love and that only God can. I realised that my role is to stand in the midst of this and just be available, and that that availability leaves me vulnerable.

As I ponder that further I am now sitting and relaxing with a great glass of Ardbeg! God’s true way of ending an evening.

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