Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Other Point of View

Well hasn’t it been a week and a half!  ‘Shakespearean’ some commentators have called it – ‘breaking news’ almost on the hour – never has ‘fact’ felt more like ‘fiction’!  The other day I actually wondered if I might wake up soon and find it had all been a bad dream!

So – the blog this week is something of a ‘confessional’! 

At a church event this week I found myself at a table having a cup of tea and cheese scone with a lady from the community who had voted the ‘other way’ to me last Thursday.  Now I don’t consider myself to be an aggressive type yet the more we talked the hotter under the collar I became – and as I was wearing a clerical one that wasn’t a very good witness!

I shocked myself really – she presented her case with calm and steady conviction and in response I heard myself sounding just a little patronising and dismissive.  To be blunt she deserved a better mannered listener than me – fortunately I think I began to realise this before it was too late and I think we parted as friends.

As I walked home to the Manse I gave myself a good telling off because, even though I stand by the decision I made at the polling booth, I have no right to dismiss the opinion of a lady who had so carefully and conscientiously thought through the issue and come to a different conclusion to me.

I think we are all so aware of how this issue has polarised and divided our nation – the process as well as the result seems to have caused so much dejection and concern.

It seems to me that we in the Church need to go the extra mile in coming days in speaking words of reconciliation and hope.  Our prayers must surely be that amid the siren voices all around us our nation will regain its composure and embrace the future with generosity of spirit and true co-operation.

 Of course, all of this starts at home – and for me that means listening with a bit more respect to those with whom I share a cheese scone on a Tuesday afternoon.

With best wishes,

Ian

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