- St John the Evangelist
- Church Road
- DA14 6BX
Vicar: 020 8300 0383
Reverand Cathy writes- July 2018
I hope you don’t mind me saying that! I’m aware that as I write this I’ve been licensed here for less than a fortnight – yet I feel that I know you already. I have been very touched by the friendly welcome I have received..
I have now more-or-less settled into the Vicarage in Sidcup – nearly all the boxes are unpacked, most of the rooms have curtains and *** I am connected to the internet!!*** (see last month’s letter)
This last took four weeks; three engineer visits from Openreach; six broken promises; daily (at least) calls to Vodafone (a different person each time) and finally a lovely conversation with a very savvy young lady in their call centre who managed to get the remaining barrier removed.
I confess there were times when I found it hard to keep my cool. After being told for the 3rd (or 4th or 5th) time “you need to wait until midnight and I guarantee it will be working” ...and then the next morning it wasn’t, I would sigh, pick up the mobile again, navigate my way through the automated call system, eventually be connected to an actual person – always someone new to me. They would ask for my name, address, reason for call every time.
And every time it brought me up short! Because, as soon as, I said ‘The Vicarage, Church Ave...’
‘You live in the Vicarage?’
‘Yes I’ve just moved (hence the reason for the call – you disconnected me blah blah) I’m shortly to be licensed ...’ etc.
So now I had been identified as Christian. Every time I explained this, the urge to scream was eclipsed by the awareness that (1) If I did shout at them, I was being unreasonable, because the person on the other end of the phone has not been involved in my case and it was not their fault and (2) Having identified as Christian, I felt more of a responsibility to try and live up to Jesus’ command to love others.
I bit my tongue, and said a silent prayer of contrition, asked for strength, and went through the story again.
This is something of a confession because, of course, I should have done that anyway. It is a small thing to be friendly and polite to another human being who is just trying to do their best. And it is the least we are called to do for our fellow human beings. I am forced to ask myself how I would have behaved without the reminder each time of what Jesus asks of us. I hope I would have swallowed my annoyance and frustration – but I can’t be sure.
It made me realise how important it is to remember who we are in Christ at all times – even, or especially – when feeling let down or put upon. I need lots of prayer to keep me on track.
You are probably stronger than I – but I dare to think that everyone has times when they are in need of help in order to do the right thing – and a prayerful connection to the wellspring of love is the one unfailingly reliable source of such support.
So with this on my mind, I wish you a month full of all the blessings that a faithful prayer life can bring.