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A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe.

2 minutes

Last on

Wed 10 May 2017 05:43


Good morning. 
We were in the lecture hall to hear a renowned speaker give a talk on spirituality and pastoral care. She began in a way I’ve never come across from anyone else – before or since. She put her travel bag on the table, took out her notes and then reached back into her holdall to pull out a medium sized teddy bear.
‘This’, she said, gently placing the soft toy on the table ‘is the bear with whom I am currently sleeping.’ It was the most attention-grabbing start to a lecture I’ve ever seen a speaker make. She had us in the palm of her hand.  Some of my fellow theology students were, admittedly, still in shock to judge by their expressions. This isn’t what you expect from a top selling author and highly respected thinker.
Her talk was centred around the spiritual lessons she’d learned over a lifetime of prayerful searching for God in some of life’s most painful places. As a cancer specialist in a hospice, she spoke of her work bringing support and companionship to the dying, their friends and family. She also had first-hand experience of government repression and politically-motivated brutality as a survivor of torture herself.
The teddy bear, she explained, was one of a large collection. She told us how the need for comfort – for something to cuddle and hold – dated back to the trauma of being evacuated as a child during World War Two.  She wasn’t embarrassed to share that need with us. After all, she said, to be an effective pastoral carer you have to know what helps you to feel safe and loved too.
Tune us in to the needs around us today, God – to our own needs and to the needs of others.Help us to find reminders of your lovethat support and encourage us.