Vicar's letter October / November 2019
Looking around the countryside, the grain harvest in the fields is over for another year, just maize and sugar beet left for harvesting when they are ready. My own harvest of tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries etc. is also nearly over as we move into Autumn. The success of a good harvest depends on a number of things. First of all, get the right seed. Then prepare a good seedbed suitable for what is to be grown – different plants have different requirements, as I am sure many of you know. Then as they start growing you can’t just leave them if you want a good healthy and abundant crop. They need looking after. It may be by weeding, by use of pesticides (unless you are organic), by regular feeding and generally caring and looking after them. Then comes the joy of a good harvest and the satisfaction of having helped the plants reach their potential.
We can experience a similar satisfaction as members of our communities as we survey the results of our neighbourliness and enjoy the harvest of enriched lives. As we look around our villages we can become aware of what people need to help them flourish and grow, just like those plants. There are some among us who often don’t speak to another person for several days, and others who find it difficult to get out to places where social things happen. There may be families struggling to bring up children in our rural area, or single people longing for more in their lives than going to work each day. Offering to help with shopping, sitting down for a chat over a cup of tea or discussing the news over the garden fence, although small things, could be just what is needed for flourishing to take place. Or it may be that visits to the doctors have become difficult for those who don’t drive and the more active among us can readily assist. Just being on the end of a telephone with a welcome greeting and a few minutes to chat can be a great help. We all have different gifts and different amounts of free time, but we can use them in a positive way, helping others to lead as full a life as possible. Then comes the joy of surveying the harvest, knowing we have helped the growth along and the satisfaction of being a good neighbour.
As St Paul wrote in one of his letters: “Then you will be enriched in every way for your great generosity which will produce thanksgiving to God through us”. (2 Cor 9.11)
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