The Venerable Peter Coombs


I had to come here today to discover a part of me I have possessed even before I was born,
 - my hands.
For the first ten minutes I examined my hands, one hand in the shade (this I can bear with, shaded from close examination), one hand in the sunlight; blotchy, wrinkled, pitted, aged, moley, hairy.
Whose hand is this?
Not mine!  An older person’s? A much older hand than mine?  Must be the hand of someone going on 85 – that’s not……me!  
But it is.   How we deceive ourselves about
the passage of time, and how much time that remains – until time is no more…….
for us.
For me.

So why am I sitting here pondering mortality,
my mortality?
Why aren’t I up and doing
Redeeming the time.
Using these hands to seek to do good in a needy world?
because there is a time to do nothing,
a time to ponder, pray,
to pray for a needy world,
to do God’s will best by stop thinking it all depends on me.
It all depends on God – His will, His work, His Spirit.

Today , Lord, slow me down,
‘Be still and know that I am God’,
please , Lord, that for me,


This morning  - Hands, this afternoon – Hearts
Hands are visible – 84 and a bit – years of wear and tear –
tell their own story for all to see.
Hearts are invisible – for that I am truly thankful –
my heart can only be seen and read by me!
Its secret longings, its secret sinnings,
its unfulfilled promises known (and regretted) only by me.
Only by me?  

Only by me and my God - ‘my’ God being the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He knows all about my hidden longings,
my secret sinnings,
my unfulfilled promises.
Not only knows about them,
but has the ability to ‘wash them clean’.
“And you are clean”, says Jesus, “and you are clean”.

You can/ you may sing with the angels to the Lord a new song.
As the hymn goes ‘Angel voices ever singing, hearts and hands and voices’.
Please Lord, refresh today,
My heart, my hands, my mind, my voice.

So may we sing with the angels a new song to the Lord.
As the well-known hymn begins:
“Angel voices ever singing……”
And continues with our offer to God of,
“Hearts and minds and hands and voices”.
Please, Lo, refresh today.
My secret heart and my open hands.

Written during a Hopeweavers Quiet Day by The Venerable Peter Coombs, 2013


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