On the 23/11/2014 I did not come to the meeting because a dream I’d had was weighing heavily on me:
As an ex-social worker, who found my cases again and again featured ladies, who were foundering in their dealing with the world, I often revert to that role in my dreams. (You might read into this write-up more about me than my rationalising of what the dream conveys to me. Don’t we all do it?)
The Dream –
I was calling on one such lady who, quite spritely, came out of her neighbour’s house and, as if I was the meter reading man, let me into her home, but wow!: all her rooms were crowded with mothers and children resting on the floors, as we see displaced families on T.V.
And so it was at the next ladies house I called on…..I had nothing to offer: they were showing me that they had more than enough to cope with…..
My Rationalisation –
Now, I was the eighth child born to my parents while we lived in the South London borough of Lambeth, notorious for large Cockney families, for 3 girls, 2 boys and 2 more girls had preceded me!….so, looked on as ‘mothers pet’, yet cared for by my 5 elder sisters.
This was “more than enough” for our small house so we were rehoused just outside London in the suburb of Mitcham, still sleeping head-to-toe; yet Mum had 2 more baby girls. Dad had had to leave his singing in the choir of St Martin-in-the-field (where I was christened) Aah! to cut a long story short the war scattered our family – the five eldest were in service and, with my two elder sisters I was evacuated to Marlow, where I took the eleven plus, ending up in grammar school, so extending my time away from home and giving me a ‘classic education’ that no-one else in the family had enjoyed.
Thus, in some degree, like Joseph, I was held as a favoured one-off by my siblings, although mine were so very loving that I bear ‘coals of fire’ from them, and beset with girls before and aft I have a feminine disposition in my soul. I was weighed down by their “you just don’t understand how we feel or what we go through” Aah!….
And, therefore –
My dream, like a bruise beginning to weep, has borne in upon me how, in today’s world, our mums and girls, despite the force of feminism, are still not understood; they are over-looked by men who assume the ‘mantle of many colours’ – the suit of authority. Womanhood suffers like the resting refugees in my dream.
However in our church family we do have some lovely ladies who come to the front to tell us ‘what’s-what’ and so prophesy, but we also have many who lack a ‘voice’ yet serve as Marthas at the workface of this church…..
So – thank you, wise to the world ladies so graciously heaping ‘coals of fire’ on us somnolent men. (Romans 12 v 20)
P.S. November the 22nd was St Celia’s day. She is a martyr of the 2nd or 3rd century who became the Patroness of church music. If we replace ‘women’ for ‘nature’ in the 3rd line I think Dryden’s song carries our message:-
From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
this universal frame began;
When [women] underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high
“Arise, ye more than dead.”
Then cold and hot and moist and dry
In order to their stations leap,
And Musics power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began;
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing fall of man”
John Dryden – A Song For St Celia’s Day (1687)