Sunday, 9 December 2012

Elizabeth

We've just got back from a friend's.
We went there for lunch.
Roast lamb with all the trimmings
followed by sticky toffee pudding.
It was hard to resist the invitation.
She's a great cook.
But more than that she's a great friend.

You know the type of person who always makes you smile?
When you spend time with them you know there'll be
fun
laughter
debate
more laughter.

But for me, it goes deeper than that.
She asks how I am and the tears spring to my eyes
Because she knows....

She knows that life is tough.
She knows the isolation I feel.
She knows that in loving me, she is bringing a little bit of heaven to earth.

In Luke 1, Mary finds out she's pregnant and goes straight to her cousin Elizabeth.
Was it to escape the clamour?
To make sense of it in her head?
To get used to the idea?

Or did she go because she knew that in Elizabeth she had
A friend
A confidante
A kindred spirit?

I like to think God led her to a place of safety where she would be loved and understood.

General John Gowans died yesterday.
He left behind a treasury of poetry.
One poem says

'Do you sometimes feel that no one truly knows you,
And that no one understands or really cares?
Through his people, God himself is close beside you,
And through them he plans to answer all your prayers.


Someone cares, someone cares,
Someone knows your deepest need, your burden shares;
Someone cares, someone cares,
God himself will hear the whisper of your prayers.


Ours is not a distant God, remote, unfeeling,
Who is careless of our loneliness and pain,
Through the ministry of men he gives his healing,
In their dedicated hands brings hope again.'


God places people in our lives to be for us what Elizabeth was for Mary.
He knows...

Sometimes we can be the 'Elizabeth' for others in their times of need too.
A place of safety that provides love and understanding.
A little bit of heaven on earth.

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