The other day I saw a mention of two seas, both in Palestine and it set me thinking,
so more about them later.
One date firmly imbedded in my mind is February 5th 1953. It was probably the happiest
day for a good number of schoolboys and girls for many a year. It was the day sweets
came off ration and I remember walking home from school along Canterbury High Street
where a younger lad (by about two years) was standing with a bag of sweets in his
“Have a sweet.” He said smiling from ear to ear.
“No thanks.” I probably wanted to be polite.
He pushed the bag under my nose. “Go on, have a sweet, they’re off ration now, we
can have as many as we like.” And he looked really thrilled to be able to share his
good fortune with me.
Rationing was a hard time but we always seemed to manage. Mum would invite someone
for tea. “Thanks,” they’d say, “I’ll bring a cake.” They would never come without
something to share.
My sister or somebody would need new clothes and there weren’t quite enough coupons.
There was always someone who would ‘loan’ some to you. It was a really good time
I remember my uncle who worked on a farm where they kept pigs. Come slaughter time
he was allowed some of the chitterlings, but he would share his good fortune with
us and probably with other families as well. In return, my father kept chickens
and rabbits, Cockerels for Christmas (plucked and drawn, they made good Christmas
presents), hens for the eggs and rabbits for meat. The eggs he shared with others
whenever there was a surfeit and never asked for payment.
Helen and I went as aid workers in Romania, just after Ceauşescu was overthrown and
things were very tough for the Romanian people. Many living were in poverty with
whole families living in one or two rooms but there was this atmosphere of giving
and sharing. We gave our time and they in return wanted to give us gifts. It might
be something they’d had in the family for years but they wanted to share what they
had with others and always did it with a smile.
An Australian family had gone there to live as aid workers and after a few days,
the wife knocked on a neighbours door to borrow some sugar. She was immediately
given a fair quantity in a bag. It wasn’t until later she discovered that it was
all that lady had got and that it hadn’t been on sale for over six months but again,
no arguments and it was given willingly with a smile. It was good to help other
Father Elvis recently shared part of his vestments with our own vicar after he showed
a special liking to his stole, giving it to him without a second thought.
Jesus shared his ministry, no where in the Bible does it say that he begrudged doing
so, in fact he actually sent his disciples out to share his good work for him and
to receive no payment.
Giving and sharing should be what life is all about, but it does seem strange that
we have to live in adverse times to realise it. Jesus showed us how but perhaps
‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ is more important. What do you think?
Oh yes, the two seas in Palestine. One is fresh and vibrant, full of fish and a
good place to live. The other is sour, nothing lives in it or along its shores,
yet both are fed by the same river. The river Jordan. It flows into the sea of
Galilee, which takes what water it needs and releases it to flow on and into the
Dead Sea. This sea retains all it takes and gives nothing away and that to me is
how some people choose to live. What sort of sea are you?