Life is all about relationships it seems. Relationships that extend way beyond us humans.
Relationships are the what the human being experiences with everything around them, everything that happens to them and everything that promotes a response, or arguably no response – which is a form of response after all! I am relating to everything all of the time in some way or another.
How I relate to the universe and all that it contains in a sense dictates some of the outcomes for me.
The little phrase ‘it is not so much what happens to me in life that matters, but rather how I respond to it’ is a pretty insightful quote.
God asks us to love Him, to love our neighbour and to love ourselves (Luke 10:27). God implores us to see Him in and through nature (Romans 1:20) . God asks us to respond to both the broken and the suffering that is around us (Luke 4:18) and to the complete and the beautiful (Matthew 6:8).
Recently I had some necessary dental work. Two appointments with an endodontist and her assistant dental nurse. The complications of dentistry during a pandemic meant that the two ladies were in full PPE and wearing breathing masks. The whole surgery was clear of clutter and all the equipment covered in disposable plastic. You get the sanitized picture.
As I lay in the dentist chair it struck me how when we ask for help or need help of any kind, how much we place ourselves in the hands of those who help us. How much we enter into a (temporary) relationship with the people helping and how much we are in a place of surrender and trust. I knew that the endodontist wanted to help me, that her best intentions were for my good, and that whilst I may be vulnerable the best way forward for the purposes of the procedure was to enter into a relationship of trust. Trust in her ability, her skills and her care. Her assistant was also there to serve the endodontists needs, to make the patient comfortable and to see that a professional job was completed successfully.
It is difficult to build a relationship with a dentist as you spend most of your time, with your mouth wide open yet unable to communicate! Likewise if you have need of surgery in a hospital theatre you may get to speak with your surgeon at some point but mainly the relationship between you is one of unspoken trust. By it’s very nature, during any procedure, it has to be.
I can hear some of you crying out as dentists are your worst nightmare or you have had experiences of surgery or hospital care that have not been good – and I know this is true. I know for some of you that healing and help in this area of your life is what you hope for. But I also recognise that whatever we are going through there are always two ways, at least, of approaching it.
How shall I relate to what is happening to me? Shall I take the path of fear and mistrust and cynicism? Or shall I take the path of hope, of trust and of faith? Which path shall serve me better?
Surely if I take the path of hope, trust and faith then even if the path is difficult I will be in a better place to cope with it?
I believe that whilst I lay in the dentist chair for 3.5 hours over 2 appointments, there was indeed a relationship of hope trust and faith being formed between the three women in that clutter free room, and if it is possible to say that the love of God can be found in root canal treatment then I will say it was most certainly present between us!
Prayer– Thank you God for all who help us at any time in our lives. Thank you for those whose temporary friendship and help healed us, fixed us, brought us through. Thank you for those who lifelong friendship and help we have valued, appreciated and been grateful for. Thank you for your everlasting help Lord in every situation, every difficulty; for the possibility of hope, trust and faith in YOU. Thank you for the Good Samaritans (Luke 10:25 – 37) who have turned up just when we have needed them most…may we learn to be a people of welcome and trust in each other. A people who build and not destroy. A people whose relationship with everything around them is one of creative unity and of love – so that a sense of belonging and wholeness might be a real possibility for all of us. Amen.
Praise – Christ took the cross so that our most needed relationship with God, from whom all healing wholeness, forgiveness and love is sourced, could be made accessible. In turn our relationship with the world, ourselves and each other can be redeemed and reconciled and accepted within all the fullness of the universe. We can be at peace. Hallelujah – God loves us and sends us to be love through out the whole world!
Thank you NHS & Key Workers –Our programme for 2021 will include 2 NHS Nourishment Days and 2 Keyworkers Kindness Days – when we hope you may be able to come and receive for yourselves. (Of course you can come at any time – contact us – we are here to help you).
Rev. Lorraine Apps – Huggins