A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 29 September 2016, 1:24 am

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com


Hello there!
I was in a shop last week, waiting at the till and there were two people in front of me – a middle aged person and an elderly person at the front who was, in all honesty, not packing quickly and the middle aged person in front of me gave a big sigh. Now, I too was in a hurry, but I was a little saddened and disappointed by this reaction – as, unless they were willing to help the older person, they were not going to be going any quicker, so whether we liked it or not we were going to just have to wait…
And this scenario reminded me of the Native American saying that says ‘Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.’ There have been numerous additions to this phrase – one is ‘or a woman until you’ve walked a mile in her stupidly painful and crazily high heels shoes’ and whilst I give a wry smile to the additional bit, I do try and remember this proverb on a regular basis, but especially so when I start getting frustrated or struggle with people’s behaviour or reactions to a situation or scenario.
Because the thing is, we truly have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives or even their heads – whilst we may have had a great day, they may have just come from the doctors after receiving bad news, have had a terrible night with no sleep, are remembering the anniversary of a loved one passed away, have just had an argument with their nightmare neighbour, are struggling with a difficult work colleague – the list is endless….
So whilst we are thinking they are ‘just shopping’ in reality it is never ‘just that’.  Life is never ‘just that’. It is never black and white; it is always some shade of grey.  And sadly it is not easy to see the ‘colour’ of others people are experiencing or feeling: this is true even with our nearest and dearest, be it a spouse, a sibling, a child or a parent – we may be close to them and love them unconditionally, even have a percentage of matching DNA, but that doesn’t mean we deal with a situation in the same way as they do.
And why? Quite simply because we are human and each of us is a wonderfully unique, never to be repeated part of God’s creation.  There are many passages in the bible that celebrate our uniqueness – one of my favourites is found in Psalm 139.  There is a lovely translation of it that reads ‘You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.’
I am not very ‘girly’ however I still go soft at the knees every time I hold a baby in my arms. I think they are little miracles, but then I think that of every single one of us, old or young, battered or bruised, weary or fighting fit.….whether you believe in God or not.
Just think about the human body for a moment….. I ‘Googled’ facts about the human body, here are three –
•        There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside the average human body, enough to circumnavigate Earth two and a half times.
•        If the human brain were a computer, it could perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second. The world’s most powerful supercomputer can manage only .002% of that.
•        The focusing muscles in your eyes move around 100,000 times a day. To give your leg muscles the same workout, you’d need to walk 50 miles.
I could fill a whole parish mag with brilliant facts like these – if you have a spare ten minutes, google ‘Amazing facts about the human body’, there are some fantastic ones! And having watched the inspirational Paralympics recently there are people who are dealing with so many disabilities and yet are achieving great things.  However, there are many people whose daily lives are a great struggle and yet from the outside they appear ‘normal and untroubled’ but are actually quietly suffering with cancer, dementia or other horrendous diseases or illnesses.
So next time you get frustrated with someone for not having their purse out ready, for having a chat with the person behind the counter, for forgetting something and going to get it, think about the journey they are undergoing, how you have not walked in their shoes and what they may trying to deal with.  Perhaps ask God for some patience and understanding for yourself and some peace for them?  It will make you a better person and together we will be a better community.
Wishing you a blessed month!  Take care,

Rev’d Amanda.


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