DAY 59: Saturday 16 May
CLOSE TO YOU
Good morning all,
I mentioned on Thursday we had a surprise anonymous gift of flowers from someone delivered on Wednesday morning.
Karen took a photo yesterday so you can also enjoy them.
I thought we could start today’s email thoughts with a song from The Carpenters >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6inwzOooXRU
‘Close to You’, written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David was a 1970 hit released exactly 50 years ago yesterday (15 May 1970) and which launched the recording careers of Karen and Richard Carpenter. Of several artists who have subsequently recorded the song, none has outsold The Carpenter’s version.
To be close to someone is an indication of fondness and love, and precious and highly valued. Probably the one human experience that has been most missed during 8 weeks of isolation, especially for the older generation, has been the lack of closeness with loved ones. Being unable to touch or hug, unable to embrace grandchildren or to hug close friends has brought a heavy toll of sadness and frustration for so many over-70’s.
Being physically close is our way of demonstrating our feelings for one another and we only realise how much that means when we are prevented from doing it. We use expressions like ‘nearest and dearest’ to describe those closest to us, usually family members.
Coming into the Chapel on a typical Sunday morning, we are usually greeted with a hug, perhaps even a holy kiss, or at the very least, a warm handshake – we’re all missing that.
What we consider to be valuable is what we tend to keep closest to us – handbags, wallets, keys, mobile phones, etc. When we think we’ve lost something because it’s no longer close by, we then sometimes begin to panic. We feel calm and secure in the embrace of the one we love, but that then makes ‘parting such sweet sorrow.’ (Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet).
Sometimes I wake early in the morning and as I don’t draw my bedroom curtains at night, I can see the early glow of light in the eastern sky heralding the dawn. Similarly, an hour or more after sunset, the sky still has a twilight glow in the western sky as the last rays of daylight slip away. Those observations made me think of a song/hymn that I had never previously heard until August 2015. I was meeting with the family of Amy Brown to arrange her funeral service and one of the songs they requested was ‘I watch the sunrise’. I admitted I didn’t know the hymn so came away from the meeting and looked it up online. It seemed an easy enough tune to learn, so I also set about transposing the music score for the cello, and as Amy’s grandson James wanted to play his saxophone at the service, I transposed for that as well. The congregation at the funeral service sang it really well, and it has subsequently been used many times in other Chapel services.
The chorus goes: ‘For You are always close to me following all my ways. May I be always close to You, following all Your ways Lord.’
If you want to join in you can sing along here >>> I WATCH THE SUNRISE
Psalm 73:28 - But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge
James 4:8 - Draw near to God and he will draw near to you
- Sheila is now in QE hospital and has had a CT scan. She has been told she will be monitored for 2 weeks before surgery. Continue to pray for Sheila and David and the family.
A PRAYER FOR TODAY: (from Linda Lord)
Dear Lord, do not make us like porridge, which is difficult to stir and slow to serve,
but more like Corn Flakes, crisp, fresh, and ready to serve.
(Boy's Brigade camp grace)
More tomorrow for another virtual service