Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Today’s #AdventWord is #Mend

Earlier this year, the Minster was broken into. Among other damage, an elegant oak door was smashed off its hinges. It was repaired by a specialist wood restorer, who constructed a frame of vice-grips to hold the wood fast while the glue set. You need to know the material you are attempting to mend...

Today I heard the news that a dear friend has died, unexpectedly and far too soon. I am heart-broken. That is, my ability to make good choices is severely impaired (the heart is the seat of the will). But my mind (the seat of thoughts and emotions, by which we perceive and process the world) is also broken: I am overwhelmed, mentally and emotionally, by a world without her.

My heart and my mind need to be mended. This will be a slow, painstaking process, which has not even begun. My heart and my mind need to be held in place, by a frame.

The frame that is needed to hold my heart is a simple but robust rule of life. I shall continue to say morning prayer, whether or not my thoughts or emotions can engage with the words. The discipline itself will hold me in the place where mending can take place. I will need to be gentle with myself, but I need a frame.

The frame that is needed to hold my mind is quite different, and surprising. This frame is grief. Grief holds my broken thoughts and emotions in place allowing mending to take place. This is the deep knowledge of the skilled Restorer.

May my friend rest in peace, and rise in glory. And may it be so of her friends, too.

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