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Safe in the Arms of Jesus....

I went for a walk around our local country churchyard this morning - the building is over 1,000 years old.

It was a windy August day. The tall trees were swaying and their leaves were being gently ruffled...I walked beside the peaceful, green, well kept lawn. I had passed through this same graveyard last week with my daughter and her baby..that day we had passed on a slightly sunnier day, there had been a grave-tender re-painting some words on a headstone... all the graves were looking well taken care of, with lovely flowers on them. He gave a friendly smile as we passed through with the pushchair...

Today, as I walked alone into the grounds of the church I was pondering the sturdy, large architecture that has stood for centuries. Centuries.. that is a lot of time.

You can sense the weight of time and history in this place...maybe because it is quiet? Maybe because it's a place to remember past lives? I was thinking how in this particular part of the world, this building has stood, as as symbol of a belief for so many centuries. People looking to God in their time of need. How people will get married, dedicate their children here when young, and then at departure, the families find solace in the same place. The bedrock of many of these beliefs have shaped our country, and society. Interesting how we incorporate biblical words and phrases into our everyday language and literature. I am fascinated with old manuscripts and the Book of Kells. In the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C there is a whole room dedicated to how words we use in our every day language are influenced from the Literature of the Bible.

As I passed the corner of the huge building, with the wind rustling the trees all around - I was impressed with the intimidating structure. How the large square corners of this building, as it sits on a solid base and reaches up.. . I was thinking of how that through the centuries even our court of Law is based on principles such as Mercy, and Justice and Restitution. Old testament law which influences our Common Law meant that the punishment fit the crime.. (if you stole a chicken you paid back 7 times - which was fair and not overly extreme punishment) Compare that to the unfair death penalty that Medieval Lords used when someone stole a chicken, that definitely was an over reach!

Another example of Mercy in our law process is that a judge can look for mitigating circumstances that will influence his decision to be more lenient. And despite that, sometimes there are no mitigating circumstances, and no leniency can be passed. Justice will be served.

Reformers like William Wilberforce, the great Abolitionist was motivated by his faith to put an end to the scourge of slavery. He and his fellow colleagues worked tirelessly to see it through. I recently learned that Britain has only just finished paying in 2015 for the cost of reparations they paid the slave owners around the world, in order to free the slaves...(that point is debated to this day, as many still view that inadequate as the slaves themselves received no reimbursement, however it seems to me that it was a political move which , in order to bring about much needed change, (albeit slow), procured their much desired freedom...

The trees rustle again and I turn another corner.. In the past I perceived graveyards as a morbid place. However the older I get, the less I see that as so. It is a sacred place. Of personal memories... Tears have been shed on this turf.. and maybe also laughter?...Seasons have come and gone, but it always impresses me how peaceful I find these places. It's a solid stillness. It's almost like a no-fly zone - where thoughts stand still and the wind can speak and breath on you...

Then my eyes fell on a headstone I had seen being tended the other day. Fresh flowers were laid and the words the man had repainted, were bold and clear.

I read " In loving memory of "A" who died at 3 months old in 1930." Immediately thoughts rushed through my mind of the pain and heartache the passing of this little one must have caused... I have a dear 8 month old I come from a long time of 'criers' in my family on my mothers side. My aunts and uncles will easily shed a tear ...I thought of the family of this baby and tears welled up.. and the words blurred. I was impressed that such a little life had such a large headstone - I don't know why that struck me so much? This was a sacred spot. Then my eyes focused on the words in stark black paint filling the crevices of the bold carving..."Safe in the Arms of Jesus".. My eyes blurred again with my tears... I thought of all the parents who have lost a child.. these chiselled words are powerful. I wonder if the family who put those words there thought about the many people who would read them in future years?

Atheists may think "opium for the people"... Opium or not - it was as strange comfort..

"Safe in the Arms of Jesus".

Chiselled in Stone.


Words written nearly 100 years ago.. still speak....

I leave the graveyard, feeling very moved. Little red and purple poppies bob their heads as I walk by. Only the wind can be heard on this country road. My thoughts churning on those brief moments by the gravestones..the history, and permanence of the building and the chiselled words of comfort.

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Maria Rufina
Maria Rufina
29 ago 2023

Ouffff…. in search of words .. mind blowing piece of writing it’s !!!! I was asking Jesus just before I saw this blog link posted in the What’s app group. My question was this “Jesus, where’s my Appa ( father) now ?? Is he he in your ARMS???? Because I miss him .. Pls answer me Jesus, I’ll be anxious until you give me an answe. Just after this little conversation with my lord in quiet time. I took the phone and the group message said SAFE IN THE ARMS JESUS. oh what a saviour He is !!! He talks to people not only in Bible but even with Blogs 😍😍😍😍

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