Sunday 16 December 2012
A family sat in the bay window of the George Richards room here at St Martin’s on Monday evening having a mince pie after the carol service for the families of those who are missing. It was a huge step for them to be here, to publicly join with others in remembering their oldest daughter, who went missing ten years ago.
Earlier, members of the families of those who were missing shared light around the church, packed full with over 800 people. Kate McCann read a poem. What this and the other families said that they most appreciated was having the time and space to remember those they loved and missed and still searched for.
Life is too busy they said, people don’t have time, we are all rushing. But that evening in this church there was no rush, there was only remembering and loving, hoping and finding peace; sharing together in solidarity what is an incredibly lonely experience for these families. One mother read a letter her son had written before he went missing asking for what he wanted at Christmas and part of it read:
“For Christmas I would really like and be grateful for the following: A motorbike. A plane. A holiday to go diving with whales. My health back and my youth, charm, innocence, sense, sense of humour, wit, charisma, strength. I want (or would like) all my friends back that I ever didn’t do the right to or for. I would love it if you could unpick all the mistakes I ever made and rewrite my life into a beautiful, graceful, dignified honourable life. That would be really cool.”
Coming, ready or not… is the Advent theme we are journeying with. Ready for what?
Ready to take time to ‘be with’ others, as God comes to ‘be with’ us.
Revd Katherine Hedderly