October 2021

60 people with their pets came to a Pet Service at St Paul’s Walden a few weeks ago. It was a very happy occasion. I explained that I had just come back from Scotland where one of my most vivid memories of the beach at St Andrews was of two dogs jumping in and out of the water. They were obviously loving it. Jumping in and out like dolphins. They seemed free. And if dogs could speak, I think they’d have said – Oh joy – we are loving this!

And I told a story. A man is walking his four dogs and lets them off the leash. Three of them run free, free as the wind, while the fourth goes round and round in very small circles. When his owner is asked, Why is the dog doing this, he said that before it had come to him, the dog had been confined in a very small compound and could only run round and round. He couldn’t run free. And so far, he’d not broken the habit.

Sometimes I reflect that we can be like that fourth dog, limited by our past experiences. We keep on reverting to what has hurt us or limited us in the past. This is very natural, and I do not minimise it. Yet I am sure that God wants us to be released from painful or hurtful memories and asks us to trust in him and his Son Jesus Christ to bring this release about.

At the end of the month, we are holding a service called ‘In Loving Memory’. It is at 3.00pm on Sunday 31 October. It will give us the chance to remember loved ones and good memories and to thank God for them.

With every blessing