St Georges Hyde

Vicars Letter for June.

Dear Friends,

As I write this letter we are all still reeling after the terrible act that took place in Manchester leaving so many people dead or dreadfully injured. It feels like the place we know has become darker and colder somehow, with the joyful anticipation of a trip to see a band or a trip to do some shopping in the city becoming something to question. Is it safe, will they attack again, do we take the risk?

And yet in the midst of all the darkness and horror there are stories of bravery, of compassion, of self sacrifice of forgiveness and of courage and strength. Blood donors, sandwich makers, taxi drivers, surgeons, orderlies, nurses, the homeless, giving, caring, reuniting, saving, healing and grieving.....but most of all loving. Loving enough to stand up and do something, stand up and change something, stand up to hatred and destruction and declare by words and actions that there is a better way for all of us. Irrespective of creed or belief or unbelief, a better way of living in the world by uniting, standing together and saying hate will not win, it may wound us and our communities, it may devastate families and lives, it may break us for a time. But we will mend, we will heal, we are strong, much stronger together than we can even imagine.

Where is God in all of this? Some may say the question is irrelevant, people can be loving and brave without a faith. Some may say it is God’s fault, without religion none of this would happen. Some would say what does it matter anyway, he still allowed innocent people to die, what sort of God is he anyway?

I believe that God was present in the moment of tragedy, not an uninterested and callous observer but a heartbroken Father. I believe he was there during the aftermath, instilling love and compassion and courage and hope. I believe he is there with each broken family, weeping with those who weep and comforting those who mourn. I believe he is here in words of forgiveness and reconciliation as we try and find our way forward.

Whether we acknowledge Him or not, God is present with us in our lives and in our world, in His world, a world he loves and cherishes very much.

There are no easy answers to difficult and painful questions, except one, what can I do?  I can love more, hope more, serve more, pray more, forgive more. It may sound weak to some but I have heard it moves mountains.