Ser­mon

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Opinion - James Gor­don

In­side a few weeks I at­tended fu­neral ser­vices for two of my old­est friends. Their com­bined ages to­tal 197 years, so when I say old­est friends I mean long lives well lived.

Gwyneth had been ma­tron in a London or­phan­age in the 1930s and 1940s, where she looked af­ter 150 Jewish refugee chil­dren from Ger­many. Later in her sev­enth decade she was co-founder of a weekly meet­ing place for home­less peo­ple to be fed, clothed and cared for.

Mar­garet knit­ted more than 1,000 baby cardi­gans for var­i­ous agen­cies, and vir­tu­ally ran a mar­malade fac­tory to raise funds for re­lief and med­i­cal work.

They were or­di­nary peo­ple who were ex­traor­di­nar­ily de­ter­mined to do what needed done to make hu­man life bet­ter. For them com­pas­sion wasn’t an oc­ca­sional kind­ness, but a habit of the heart, a moral obli­ga­tion to love their neigh­bours.

“So teach us to num­ber our days that we might gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 92.1) Num­ber­ing our days isn’t about count­ing num­bers; it’s about weigh­ing sig­nif­i­cance. Over the course of two long life­times, my two friends’ days were num­bered in their sig­nif­i­cance for oth­ers. In count­less small and strate­gic acts of faith­ful kind­ness, they made a dif­fer­ence in other peo­ple’s lives.

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