July letter 2017 - Steeplewood

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What we say > From the Clergy Team
From the Rector, Rev. Laura Dalton

Manchester. London. Grenfell Tower. These huge tragedies have hit our headlines recently, and left us many of us with unanswered questions. Yet, every day many of us face our own personal tragedies – the death of a loved one, a dreaded diagnosis, the loss of a home or a job, a pregnancy that ends in pain and loss, the marriage that falls apart, the teenager struggling and refusing all help… the list could go on… and on.

Where do we go with these questions? Who do we ask? Are there ever any answers that comfort our hearts or still our minds? Of course, many seek comfort and reassurance in tough times from our spouses, partners, families or friends… but what happens when that is not enough?

I went to the cinema recently to watch a film – ‘The Shack’, which is based on the bestselling book of the same name by William P. Young (2007). Both book and film tell the heart wrenching story of Mack Phillips following an horrific tragedy, and his struggle to come to terms with his guilt and sadness. Mack is mysteriously invited to a desolate cabin, where he experiences an encounter with God, a God he is angry with. I won’t say anymore about the content of the film, but I do warmly encourage you to watch it, for me it raised many questions about my own understanding of who God is, about my own beliefs and attitudes, my own ability to forgive deep and painful hurts, about the sort of person I want to be.

Mostly the film reminded me of the truth of my faith, the truth that God loves me… I may not always see it, I may not always feel it, I certainly don’t understand it… but that truth makes the tragedies, the hurts, the sadnesses, the guilts that I face more bearable. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do… life is tough, life isn’t fair… but I do believe that I don’t face life alone. The film brought Psalm 121 to mind,

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Rev. Laura Dalton

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