Some time ago I had to spend time in the RLI in a clinic named “A ward without beds”. There were many people coming and going, and suddenly a beautiful blonde girl wheeled in an elderly lady suffering, I think, from Down’s Syndrome. This lady was virtually helpless – almost inarticulate – and very deaf. I will never forget the way this young girl looked after her – with so much patience – having to speak out loud with the result that the whole ward could hear the conversation. Yet she never showed any embarrassment. What really touched me were her eyes – they were so focussed and full of love and concern for someone we might perhaps ignore or even turn away from! And when that elderly lady reached out, and placing her arm around her young carer and tenderly kissed her – the whole ward went tangibly quiet. And through tears in my own eyes I thought –YES THIS IS GOSPEL – THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT – and then immediately reflected how so very often I miss it – and maybe you do too! This epiphany moment was so very far away from the grim spectre of building walls and erecting fences and barriers – and rejection in its many forms. It is as though Jesus still weeps today – almost an eternal Gethsemani – and that young blonde girl surely points the way for all of us towards a new vision of love and hope and sharing. I will never forget her!
Deacon Bernard Loveland