22nd December 2021

I was moved two Sundays ago before morning service when a young couple delivered a car-load of items for the foodbank, all their own purchases!

On radio today my heart went out to the care home owner describing last Christmas, losing ten residents to Covid in three weeks. Her love for each as unique individuals showed in naming them all: ’first we lost…, then…, then…’. Struggling to keep the home open, she has mortgaged her house to bring in staff from Nigeria and India!

I was in tears this afternoon listening to a radio drama about the loss of the Penlee lifeboat, with all eight hands, from Mousehole, Cornwall forty years ago to the day. I knew the story, using it in school assembly years ago. But I was moved to tears, not for a minute-or-two, but the whole three-quarters-of-an-hour. Children of the lost RNLI crew spoke of their memories and their loved ones’ commitment to saving lives. Also, the events as they unfolded were interspersed with the actual radio messages that passed between the stricken Union Star, the coastguard, the helicopter pilot, and the coxswain of the lifeboat. The Penlee lifeboat, despite being thrown on top of the Union Star by 60ft waves, managed to get four people off, but was lost to the sea, smashed to smithereens. As well as the crew, eight others died, including the two daughters and pregnant wife of the Union Star’s master.

We believe we are created ‘in God’s image’, so we should not be surprised – moved, yes, but not surprised – when someone exhibits that Big Heart that sent us Jesus. Happy Christmas everyone!

Dave Bell