So in the lead up to Christmas we made some angel decorations to place around the park for people to take away with them. Fiona had found instructions on
and we spent a hilarious evening making the angels – some finding the creative task more challenging than others! We attached labels wishing the recipient joy or peace or love over Christmas and inviting them to take the angel home. We distributed around 40 or so and even before we left the park, some had been taken. The next day only two were left. We hope that everyone enjoyed that unexpected small gift.
Christmas day was simple and lovely. I shared something of my recent discovery of the amazing Jonathan Bryan, featured on Songs of Praise 8 / 12 / 19 and CBBC’s My Life documentary:
Jonathan Bryan has severe Cerebral Palsy and is ‘locked in’ – he has no voice, cannot eat, has no voluntary movement of his limbs but after being taught to read by his mother, through looking at a letter board, he can now communicate his thoughts and his faith. He has written poetry, short stories and a book ‘Eye can write’ and has been an advocate for severely disabled children, particularly for those who have no voice, meeting with the minister for education of the disabled to promote their chances of receiving an education and learning to read.
On Christmas he says: ‘Sometimes heaven and earth come so close that they almost touch each other and I believe that in the baby that was born that first Christmas they became one. To me this is the magic of Christmas.’
Jonathan describes himself as a voice for the voiceless and of being locked in a life behind a curtain but also speaks of beyond the curtain. His mission is to break others out…
When he met Michael Morpurgo, the latter wrote in his preface to Jonathan’s book: ‘Jonathan has opened a door for us into his world. He is not locked in any more, and neither are we – we join him.’
The parallels with Jesus are numerous – and for another day, but, briefly, watching these documentaries has given me fresh insights into the significance of the Creator reducing Godhood to the locked in disability of being human – open to being labelled and rejected and seen as nothing – in order to tear down the curtain that we might enter that other world of total liberation…
For some time I wanted for myself to rewrite Mary’s song – the Magnificat in my own words to make it more accessible to me. This is it:
I can’t tell you how I am bursting with awe and wonder! I want to sing at the top of my voice! I can barely believe it! Me! Can YOU believe it? I’m just an ordinary girl and he picked me! Picked me for something that will mean that this simple, poor, unexceptional girl will be spoken of forever – for centuries – in lands I have never heard of and times I will never be able to imagine.
GOD has come – the Creator of all that is – the one whose very name is holy…GOD – with me, in me. This is a God whose forgiveness knows no end, who keeps on working in our world, for our world, challenging oppression and oppressors, championing the powerless, the voiceless, the hungry, those who know they need MORE. The ones who think they have it all miss the God who’s there for us. You need to know: God is faithful. This God who worked for our ancestors in the past is at work for all of us now, working to bring all things to fulfilment. And somehow, in some way I know it all begins here – with me.
For Jesus – limited to a frail body – who had to learn to speak and in that limited form break open the way for us to enter a new reality and for Jonathan who reminds us of God’s values of the weakest being the strongest, of hope and of joy and of there being MORE Thank you!
We finished with bread and wine as always – lovely to see everyone – not least our new doggie visitor held by Paul (of al people!) – the image of him running with dog clutched close will stay with some of us for a very long time!!!!