A View from St Kilda – Summer 2023

I have, just recently, got my new car!!

Drum roll please… it is a…
Now there is a surprise.

There is a little debate what colour the Fiat actually is. I was sold the car on the name ‘Italia Blue’ but when my children first saw it, they said the car was purple. Poor car – it doesn’t know whether it is coming or going!! Boom boom!!

If there is one advantage to having a car with a distinctive colour – it is that you are less likely to lose it.

Our last car, a Fiat, was blue, and it stood out from the crowd. I still laugh. Once, when we got out of the East-end, after a Celtic v Hearts match, Pam met us in a retail area and amidst the sea of cars and Celtic supporters, sat the only blue car for miles.

Nowadays a lot of the cars look the same. I remember, as a boy, taking registration numbers and notes of the different types of cars I saw. Now, I suppose that because of aerodynamics, environmental issues and the likes, cars are not as unique as they used to be. How many of us have gone into a car park at the supermarket or a multistorey and forgotten what level our car was on and where it actually is?

We did ‘lose’ a car like that once and we were almost phoning the boys in blue!

The police tell us that eye-witness evidence is notoriously unreliable. People think they saw what they didn’t see, or didn’t see what should be seen, or tell you that they’ve seen something which is completely different from what someone else thinks they’ve seen.

Seeing, physical seeing, can be very dodgy. The “vision of the eye is limited” indeed.

John Turnbull, an 18th century American poet, wrote this in his
poem McFingal:

For any man with half an eye,
What stands before him may espy;
But optics sharp it needs I ween,
To see what is not to be seen.

The writer of the Bible’s Book of Proverbs couches it differently yet says the same thing: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

In all aspects of life, we should seek to see beyond the unreliability of “optics” to the “vision of the heart”, so necessary if we are to be bold, creative, relevant and excited about a new future.

Too often we choose not to see, or only to see what is expedient. We deny things right in front of our eyes. How often have you looked for your glasses and they are staring you in the face? Like losing your car in a car park, your car is there, if you would only look! Sometimes people hide things in what would seem an obvious place, recognising that many a thief will not find a valued item because he can’t see the wood for the trees.

We are facing a time of uncertainty in the Church. We are unsure how the Church will be in the years to come, but we need to trust in God and have a vision about what a new, invigorated Church might be like.

In Church and society, politics and commerce, we need people to “see what is not seen”, to be the visionaries who can open our eyes to a vista of new possibilities, so that the very “barriers of time and space” might be seen no more.

Enjoy your holiday, or at least some rest time, and if you ‘get away’, have the wisdom to see what is round about you, and live with the vision of your heart which transcends both time and space.

Your friend and minister,