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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

19 August 2009: Bill Grace, St Peters Church

Caring for each other is vital

‘You are ill’ warned my doctor. You’ll have to stay at home. ‘Well, it’s not every day that my doctor tells me I’m ill. I knew I was ill, because I was a shivering wreck in his consulting room chair.

Surprisingly, my doctor’s blunt yet kind words gave me permission, in a rather comforting way, to actually be ill, to not feel guilty about it and to allow others to take over a few of the responsibilities for my ‘care’ like shopping or mowing the lawn.

John Donne, the philosopher and thinker who lived in the 17th century, wrote ‘No man is an island, entire of itself.’ By this he meant to say that we can’t ignore the plain truth that we humans are social creatures. Scanning the columns of the Post, not a week passes without reading about many acts of human kindness.

The greatest act of love in history was God’s sending his son Jesus into our world some 2,000 years ago. In the gospel of St John (Chapter 15 verse 12): ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. For Christians this is not just some vague sentimental statement. The meaning is clear: ‘Look after one another.’

So your neighbour could be needing you right now. E-mail, phone, visit, write a letter – so many practical possibilities to get in touch. Go for it! For the recipient delight, and I guess it’ll make you feel a bit ‘special,’ too!

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