Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Redding Out

The word in the title may not be a proper word, but it's a phrase you would hear about home. We're just going to redd out the cupboard, meaning to clear it out, or gut it. Or at the end of a work shift, you would redd up. Not sure if it should be spelt read (as in I read a book last week, past tense).

By and however, I've been redding out my college room this evening. Just two evenings left in Dublin now, and I'll be doing exams the next two afternoons, and then the farewell Communion service and dinner. So any spare moment is gladly snatched to do some clearing. Cupboards that have been ignored all year are opened to see what they contain, and papers I won't need are set aside for recycling.

The joy of such task is that you never know what you might find. For me, the greatest joy wasn't in finding some money in an envelope (no, not a brown envelope...), but rather in coming across the cards, letters and notes that I received in my first term here three years ago. Reading again the warm wishes and prayerful words was truly a serendipity - I wasn't expecting to see them this evening, but I'm glad I have. So while other things are left behind or chucked out, these cards and letters will go with me to pastures new, reminders of where I have come from, and how God has led me on.

In moving on, it's important to not forget how God has been gracious and faithful in the past. After all, it's one of the lessons we see in the Old Testament, as the children of Israel come out of Egypt and move into the promised land (eventually).

It's what is happening in Joshua 4, when the twelve stones are set up on the bank of the Jordan. 'When your children ask in time to come, "What do these stones mean to you?" then you shall tell them that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So there stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial for ever.' (Josh 4:6-7)

Or think of Ebenezer. No, not Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In 1 Samuel 7:12, Samuel takes up a stone as a memorial of victory in battle against the Philistines. Its name was Ebenezer, because it means 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.'

As I prepare to finish in Dublin, I can declare Ebenezer - Thus far has the LORD helped us.' And so he will continue, for He is a faithful God.


  1. Hey Gary
    Just wanted to say that you are in my prayers as you move buddy!

  2. I suppose you will have to rename this blog, thoughts of a random Curate or even Husband? Alan B