Thy great power bespeaks the ocean, in each drop thy smile we see;

mat surfing 2The line quoted from the Chartist hymn in my last text  comes to mind, as Hilary and I walk a few more small sections of the coastal path in Soiuth Devon where we enjoy holiday days.  Caleb the dog has been doing a little wave-riding bringing sticks back – pictured here is son-in-law Mat, but a few years ago.

Holidays?  But I am permanently on holiday!  Three months now since I resigned as Morden’s team rector, but from our new home near Tonbridge, I have in fact been finding my way back two or three times a week (a wedding a week before we came away, and many meetings before that) – at least I cannot do that from South Devon.  But then of course the internet means that I can still keep in touch – and further my new licence, even from a hidden valley where mobile phone masts are far away, but with a landline connection to the wider world.

A Nairobi shopping mall, a Christian congregation in Pakistan, a Nigerian student dormitory, all devastated this last  week.  Around the South Devon coast, as well as surfers, the memory of many tragic ship-wrecks…. “Every drop of ocean revealng God’s smile”?  Every diabolical human action – as well as pictures emailed to us, of grandson Joseph proudly leading out a Championship division football team?

In Emmanuel’s land, I look forward to having the questions answered, as to why God allowed the tragedies as well as the glories of our humanity. In my reading of Nevile Shute’s novels, in the order he published them I have reached “Most Secret”, published the year I was born in the dying days of World War II.  Shute describes the depths of horror devised by humankind, alongside great human attainment.  In Nairobi, a 4-year old challenges one of the so-called terrorists who has just shot his other in the leg “You’re a bad man….”  His mother is sent out of the mall with the invitation to become a Muslim. See  In Pakistan, so many children limbless or horribly disfigured,  let alone families devastated.  It seems that the students rounded up from sleep and then shot in groups, were mainly Muslim; their only crime, subjecting themselves to ‘western education.’

Forgive this less than cheerful addition to my blog.  But it is a real world I return to in a few days time – where Jesus weeps still, and longs for His Body the church in the power of His Holy Spirit, to be faithful to His Great Commission as well as to live out the two-fold commandment.  Meanwhile, even here, I can keep up with emails, and plan the next week or so, including the funeral of a Christian friend after suffering years of recurring cancer.  She knows the answer to these questions, now she is in Emmanuel’s land.