Sunday, 28 June 2009
25 years ago we discovered the beautiful Isle of Tiree as a place of retreat and refreshment. Between terms when I was studying, I would spend a month at a time there several times a year. I often took services in the two parish churches. We even took over the running of our friend's guest house on a few occasions while she went on holiday. Its been a joy to introduce our children to the unspoilt beauty of the island and see their pleasure in that slower pace of life. Recently, we've taken to just turning up unannounced, knowing that we were always welcome and surprising our friend. That was the plan for next week. We sail out on Monday. However, this time our friend has surprised us. Audrey died suddenly but peacefully early last week. Next Tuesday I shall conduct her funeral service on the island. What a privelege. We have been through a lot together. From our early days of marriage, the loss of her husband, Jack, her battle with bowel cancer some 15 years ago when she stayed with us while undergoing treatment, the arrival of our children, our various church moves.
Audrey was always one for having the last word. She certainly stumped us this time! We give thanks for her and hope and pray that that will be the prevailing note in the service.
And then, when we have performed those last offices of love, let's hope that the healing of that Island peace will be ours as we soak up a few days before returning home. Thanks be to God.