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St Andrew’s • Cheam

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Craig’s Summer letter

Craig Bowman

I came across a list called ‘Great truths about life that little children have learned.’ Here are some of them:

  • No matter how hard you try you cannot baptise a cat.
  • When your mum is angry, don’t let her brush your hair.
  • Never ask your three-year-old brother to hold a tomato … or an egg.
  • You can’t trust dogs to watch your food for you.
  • You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

I suspect the children learned these truths and gained their insight after some dramatic eye-opening experience in their lives. Nobody told them these truths, they experienced them in one way or another. Can’t you just imagine a child trying to baptise a cat … and learning that this is just not a good thing to do.

A dramatic personal eye-opening experience can give us new insight, new perception, new vision. An experience is worth a thousand words.

Eliza Doolittle

As Eliza Doolittle says to her two suitors in My Fair Lady:

Don’t talk of love lasting through time.
Make me no undying vow. Show me now!
Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don’t waste my time, Show me!
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard.
Please don’t ‘expl’ine’, Show me! Show me!
Don’t wait until wrinkles and lines
Pop out all over my brow,
Show me now!

One of the distinctions between the Old Testament and the New Testament is to do with words. In the former the law – a series of words – was given to the children of Israel to guide and sustain them in a relationship of trust with God and with each other. Down the centuries the words became an end in themselves. In the latter the Word becomes flesh and lives among us showing, by his actions, the way of God and inviting his children to do likewise.

When we are called to share the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – it can seem rather daunting because we are afraid that we won’t have the right words at the right times; however, the honest truth is that our actions will always speak louder than our words. Our calling is to love one another and love our neighbour as ourselves. This we have tried to do for these last two and a bit years - as have so many others – let’s keep on doing that.

St Francis of Assisi is reported to have told his disciples, ‘your calling is to go and proclaim the gospel, … if necessary, use words.’

Craig Bowman

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Posted on 1 Jul 2022