Pastor’s Thoughts – July 2013

Dear Friends,

I must say that when I wrote my article for News and Views in January I had no idea that I was not going to be writing another one until the end of June. Life overtakes us at times with highly unexpected events.

Before I say anything else about that I need to say thank you to you all for your kindness, prayers and fellowship in these last months. These have been very difficult times, which I would prefer never to repeat, but they have been made easier by the love that people have shown to us.

Can I also say a big thank you to everyone that has had to take on extra responsibility during this time. This was not the first time that I had been away for 3 or 4 months, I have had two sabbaticals during my ministry here. This time was very different though because we obviously could not plan for what happened, everybody just had to react. People have done a fantastic job and I would like to thank you all so much. It is easy for an organisation to be highly dependent upon one main person but we have always spoken about every member ministry and these months have proven that that is what we are all about. Thank you so much.

Just to set the record straight, my injury occurred when I stepped onto a very shallow slope that turned out to be solid and compacted clay. It was only a very slight depression but the snow was falling and it had been raining for a while and it turned out to be very slippery. My foot slid straight off the surface, and as my leg straightened, the quadriceps tendons in my left knee snapped. At that point my leg was completely useless and I couldn’t use the knee at all. Falling over seemed to be the only available option! It took about 80 minutes for the ambulance to arrive during which time I was lying in mud and getting covered with snow. It was the kindness of strangers that helped me, as a lady passing-by called the ambulance and waited with me, and another passer-by laid his coat over me. Any thoughts that our dog (who I was walking at the time) would curl up St Bernard-like and protect me were sadly misplaced! I called Francis and he was able to round her up and then to keep a look out for the ambulance.

I immediately knew that I had done something very serious and in the days that followed I knew that I needed to be careful to do everything that would aid my healing. I also knew that this was going to take a long time (although I had no idea that it would take so long). This was not so much disturbing as confusing. All the plans I had for the year ahead were based on the outcome of things that we were doing in the first six months. I was left with a sense of deep uncertainty and yet also of deep security. So what if my plans were ruined? Why did it matter that I no longer had control over the months ahead. As I’m always telling people – it’s an illusion to imagine that we are in control anyway. What mattered was to know that my Father in heaven was holding me and was in control of what was happening. He didn’t make it happen but he was in control and therefore I could rest safely in the knowledge that He had this all in His hands.

Deuteronomy 33:26-27 says: There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

To which I say AMEN!

Yours in Christ


John Walford