I wonder if you like snow? Yes, you read that right, I’m really talking about snow in summer… I love it, there’s nothing more magical than waking to the world blanketed in a fluffy white blanket of snow, softening the edges of familiar lines and edges and dampening down the noise. One of my fondest memories of our lovely Barney Dog’s puppyhood was the morning he first encountered the good white stuff. He was about 4 months old and well established in the family routine of bounding out in to our garden first thing in the morning (well as ‘first thing’ as the Dalton-Hill household ever manage – we are NOT ‘morning people’!). We opened the door and Barney stood on the threshold for a good couple of minutes, just looking and sniffing the air, surveying a familiar landscape rendered alien by this mystical substance. Eventually puppy curiosity won out and tentative first steps were taken, cold paws forgotten and we had a lot of fun playing in the snow, all of us! This last year has felt rather like that.
My once familiar landscape suddenly felt alien. I thought I knew how life would be, who would be there, I was wrong. It’s been, in many ways, the most challenging and traumatic year personally, and yet it has also been filled with unexpected joys, new friendships and a clarity of purpose I didn’t expect to find. I realise too, for many, the arrival of a new vicar is unsettling, change is inevitable, a new way of doing things, a new personality to adjust to. I know, for some, I’m not the vicar they expected or wanted, we may not share the same priorities, dreams, hopes or
challenges, we all make mistakes along the way and yet here we are – thrown together by the call of God. I hold on to the promises of the Bible – the promises that we are loved, that we are not abandoned, nor left behind. The promise that God knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us.
And so, as I face a future I never imagined, my heart cries, ‘Thanks be to God’, for the steps already taken, for the joys of today and the promise and hope of our tomorrows. And on we all go, side by side… once familiar landscapes may seem alien – yet knowing we are promised that we do not go alone.