You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
The other week I asked for your prayers for my friend Peter H who has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Soon, no doubt Our Lord will tap him on the shoulder and call him to his eternal rest, as He will all of us in our allotted time. But then as Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says ‘There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die. Yet we can take comfort in verse 4: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Peter H is a man of some standing in the community and as such is known and respected by all who are acquainted with him. In due time his passing will be a sad loss to scores of people, yet there have been so many opportunities to laugh and to dance and for that we must be grateful. In a way it seems wrong speaking of Peter as if he had already departed this world but it is a reminder that none of us know when the call will come so that we should live each day as if it were our last – for the greater glory of God.
One ability Peter has is that he can remember names and faces so that even if he hasn’t seen you for some while, he will always acknowledge you, and, if the opportunity presents come across to start a conversation with the words: “Hello Peter, How are you?” How he knows my name from the hundreds he has met over the years, I do not know. After all, it is not as if I am anything special to him. But the point is that it is not just me, he will address anyone he meets by their own name. Truly a remarkable man since that seemingly simple act makes one feel important, wanted even; certainly one is more inclined to go with him.
Even more then, God knows each one of us intimately, by name and indeed better than we know ourselves. How does that make us feel? Wanted? Needed? Of value to Him, maybe? Loved by Him, perhaps? More willing to follow Him? Yes, all these things and more. So, if God loves us so much how much more are we called to love Him? And how do we show that love for God? Well, how did Jesus address that problem? He said: ‘Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?’ Matthew 25:37(KJV). And what was Jesus’ answer? ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ Matthew 25:40 (KJV)
Put simply, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ Matthew 22:39
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years