On Re­flec­tion

From the manse win­dow

The People's Friend - - 60 - By Rev. Ian Petrie.

IDON’T know the dog’s name – only that he is a West High­land Ter­rier. I fre­quently bump into him, ac­com­pa­nied by his owner, a smart woman in her late twen­ties.

When I come to think of it, I don’t know her name, ei­ther!

We of­ten stop for a lit­tle chat, or just to ex­change pleas­antries.

Then one morn­ing, it hap­pened that we were all head­ing in the same di­rec­tion, and so we walked to­gether.

As we walked, we chat­ted some more.

Out of the blue she told me she didn’t come from Ed­in­burgh, but from a small vil­lage in Kin­car­dine.

“It’s called Fet­ter­cairn,” she said. “You prob­a­bly won’t have heard of it.”

I laughed and shook my head.

“Ah, but I have! I had a job there as a stu­dent,” I said, “on an es­tate just out­side Fet­ter­cairn.”

She laughed, too. “What a small world! My mum and dad live in an es­tate cot­tage out­side Fet­ter­cairn.

“I wish they were closer as I’m due my first baby in two weeks.”

“Con­grat­u­la­tions,” I said, as we ap­proached her flat. “I hope all goes well.”

“Thanks,” she re­sponded. “I’ll let you know.”

Only after­wards did I won­der how this woman whose name I didn’t know, with the dog whose name I didn’t know, was go­ing to let me know!

Lit­tle did I sus­pect that the dog would have a big part to play in just that!

One morn­ing, com­ing back with my pa­per, I spot­ted the dog whose name I didn’t know with a young man whom I had never met.

I ap­proached him via his dog!

He was de­lighted when I asked af­ter his wife.

“Yes, our baby son is two weeks old. His name is Har­ris.”

Amid the all the anonymity, we shared the special knowl­edge of know­ing Har­ris’s name.

But while I have met Mum and Dad and dog, the one per­son whose name I do ac­tu­ally know I have still to meet.

He must be a cou­ple of months old now and I hope that he and his mum know I was ask­ing af­ter them.

What’s in a name is just one ques­tion posed by the amaz­ing events which oc­curred on Em­maus Road late that very first Easter Sun­day.

Luke tells us that two of Je­sus’s fol­low­ers were chat­ting ex­cit­edly about all that had hap­pened that day, when they were joined by none other than Je­sus him­self.

But the fact that they knew his name didn’t help them to recog­nise him.

“He comes to us as One un­known, with­out a name, as of old,” Al­bert Sch­weitzer writes.

“He came to those men who knew Him not and speaks the same word: ‘Fol­low thou me!’”

Next week: David Mclaugh­lan looks for the pos­i­tive in life!

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