We finished the year yesterday with a great meeting.  This is such a friendly and supportive group.  Lots of discussion (over mulled wine and banana cake!) about our different contributions on the theme of Reconciliation. But the highlight had to be one of our members opening a parcel from America to reveal copies of two books that he has written on the subject of vaccination.  Wow!

We’re having a Christmas break but returning in the New Year with the theme: Sci-Fi.  Phasers set to stun, guys…

Meanwhile, here’s a little Christmas story.

Peace On Earth

“Whoo,” puffed Theresa, gathering her breath.  It had been a long climb up the stairs.

She looked down over the railing of the mall.  Eight floors of Christmas mayhem; swirling crowds, carols through the speakers, fake snow, children everywhere.  But she was about to bring peace to the chaos.

She clasped her hands together for a moment, closed her eyes, and murmured a few words.  Then  taking a plastic bottle from her pocket, she unscrewed the top, dipped in a clean watercolour brush and flicked some drops of the water into the vast space of the mall.  She took a few steps to the side and repeated the process.  Then again.  And again.

“Excuse me, miss.  Can I ask what you’re doing?”

Theresa turned.  It was a security guard.  She smiled.  “I’m blessing the mall.”

He looked at her suspiciously.  “What?”

“I’ve prayed for everyone in the mall and now I’m scattering holy water.”

He took a sharp intake of breath.   “Now hang on a moment, miss.  This is a secular space…”

There was a burst of laughter from behind them.  “This place – secular!?” said a young man.  “Look around you, mate.  Every shop in the mall is full of Christmas goods.”

“I’m sorry,” insisted the security guard.  “We can’t have holy water being scattered…”

“It’s not holy water,” interrupted a tall man, “it’s completely ordinary water.”

“If it’s been blessed by a priest then it’s holy water,” retorted a small woman laden down with bags.

A crowd was forming.  “Think of our Muslim friends,” someone called.

“I’m Muslim and I like Christmas,” responded someone else.

“Well water is not being scattered into the air in this mall,” stated the security guard.

“That’s ridiculous!  Every time we breathe, we scatter water into the air.”

The noise was rising.  Everyone was talking at once.  Then someone tripped and fell, pushing two others.  Tempers snapped, punches were thrown.  Within seconds, an affray had started and the security guard was desperately calling for back-up.

Meanwhile, eight floors below, Theresa was making her way out of the mall.  She checked her list.  Next she would be bringing some Christmas peace to the leisure centre.



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