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Death and Life

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 2 November 2014

We have been preparing for All Saints and All Souls this Sunday.

The memories of people who have died in the last year have been flooding my heart and mind. I am aware of how much there is to cherish. I am reminded of Dorothy Walker by one of her beautiful drawings of stones I have just received. I am reminded of Mallie by the arrival of her son Mike, sharing and laughing over so many stories of her remarkable hospitality and independent spirit. I am reminded of Patricia Frank at every Wednesday Choral Eucharist; the way she would arrive an hour before to pray, and whisper words of love for God. I am reminded at each of our education lectures of Gay Catto, how she would prepare the cheese, compile the evaluations and welcome at the door so full of goodness. I am reminded of Ralph Smith as we prepare for the Commemoration of those who have Died Homeless, remembering his inventions for hoisting up the banner, his indefatigable dedication and enthusiasm. I am reminded of gentle Ruth Healy and the love in which she will always be held.

This week Rebecca Taylor died. She was a member of our Open Circle Group. Katherine who has been ministering to her and her family with such care writes: “Rebecca, or Becky as she is known, has been so courageous in the face of illness. Her life has been shorter than anyone would want but she has lived that life deeply, lovingly and faithfully and in doing so has known the full and wonderful breadth of God’s love.”

Side by side with these memories, last week I visited St Thomas’ hospital where Lucy had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I was allowed to hold her and stood there marvelling at her tiny fingers and toes and even tinier finger nails. This warm, breath-taking, miracle of life. We should never cease being astonished. We were all that tiny child once and we will all one day also make our parting. I wonder what memories we will leave behind? The baby’s name is Grace. Yes this is God’s grace… God’s gift of eternal life.

Revd Richard Carter