Rector's Letter - March 2001
My Dear Friends,
forget Mothering Sunday later this month - please!
I did. Just once.
Fortunately Mum in her generosity was less worried about it than I was. Before her friends came round she went to the cupboard,
selected her favourite Mother's Day card from previous years and filled the
empty space on the sideboard with that one instead.
first left home at the age of 18, I used to get what my brother and I called
"Red Cross parcels": Cardboard boxes full of Rich Fruit Cake, tinned
peaches and salmon, digestive biscuits, a small bottle of Scotch.
And if there was any danger of being underfed whilst away from home, it
was more than made up for by the food heaped upon a groaning table on my return.
I've always thought the Gospel Reading for Mothering Sunday so
appropriate: the feeding of the 5000. It
always makes me think of my Mum! I've
been married 20 years. I have my
own children now. But still, every
time I see my Mum and Dad, out comes the Red Cross parcel!
years ago I saw a TV programme. They
showed an experiment I have to admit to finding somewhat distasteful.
They took two small baby monkeys. One
was raised with its mother, but the other had its mother replaced by a stuffed
toy monkey. The baby was fed from
its simulated breast, used to run to it and cling for comfort and warmth, but of
course it was just a stuffed toy. Unsurprisingly,
that monkey became maladjusted, anxious and deeply unhappy.
I felt rather cross with the experimenters. Wasn't it obvious?
There is no substitute for love and care.
The stuffed toy version just isn't enough.
needs to feel in some way that there are human relationships where they'll
always be loved. It's often Mothers
that bring this into our lives. But
it doesn't have to be. It can be
other family members, friends and neighbours, even professional carers.
Two of the
world's greatest ever women must be Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa of
Calcutta. Neither had Children.
Neither married. But through
their calling they loved and they cared. And
their lives were God's gift to countless thousands.
They healed people's souls as well as nursed their bodies. That's what love does, it heals souls - not least the love of
God who loved the world so much he didn't send a Red Cross parcel, he sent his
Mother's Day, I must say another thank you to my Mum for all those Red Cross
Parcels. We never really did need
themů but we needed what they represented.
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