Curates Letter – Grapevine May 2016

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Rectors Letters | 0 comments

10428249_474352509408511_9132979803500746045_oNatasha’s Encounters

Now that the winter months are behind us and April’s showers are waning, I think it’s about time the Curate began walking in the fresh air a bit more often.  I have managed to successfully avoid this pleasurable activity for most of the winter months. Yet as soon as I see the sun shining and the temperature gauge on my car nears double digits, confidence returns and I step out of my front door and walk to Morning Prayer at the Rectory each day.

On these morning sojourns, I always meet our local homeless cat … a black and white puddy-cat, made plump by middle age and the generous feeding of local residents. They have fed this itinerant moggy since her owner became full of years quite a while ago now.  She was re-homed, it is said, a few times, but she refuses to stay and keeps returning regardless of how far she is taken from Rushden.  So who are we to deny her, in her autumn years, such a nomadic life? I’ve never succumbed to feeding her, but a quick cuddle and a stroke leaves both of us happy. After which guaranteed encounter I carry on with my journey.

It’s not just cats that I meet on this daily perambulation, there are the same parishioners and residents too, always ready to wave, smile or share a word or two.  It’s lovely to catch up with people as we go about our daily lives: knowing that each of us will be content when the usual checklist of known locals are seen and greeted. These not so chance encounters, enabled by lives which brush alongside one another on a regular basis, we begin to form relationships. They give us a sense that we belong to one another and affirm that in this transitory world there are those who would miss us, if we were not there to say, “hello, how are you?” Or catch up on what’s been happening since we last met.

And then there are those rare encounters, whose happening can never be predicted, but when they occur remind me of why I have a faith in a God who wants people to look for Him. Some days I feel compelled to walk one route or another, and it is on those days that I usually find God.  I find him sitting on a bench strongly urging a stranger to ask for prayer because life that day is just too hard to live alone. Sometimes He is there prompting the person who notices the clerical collar, and sees it as an opportunity to pour out what is going on in a life … good or bad, it doesn’t matter.

Once, it was just so that I could see an elderly couple. They were walking hand in hand down the road, just ahead of me, looking so in love, and happy … like two young sweethearts.  It was just what I needed, a warm reminder of the life I have promised to live with Jamie, my husband, and it made me smile as I saw how little their love had diminished over time and how evident it was to all.

As I ponder on all these encounters I realise that in each of these different situations there is always, not too far away, that God who is always seeking me and you, catching our attention, by what we see, what we hear and what we experience.  My daily encounters enrich and bring me great joy because I know that not far from the people I meet, is the God I love.

Rev Natasha Brady