Not gulity

I drove the car 200 miles today. I didn’t have to tell you, so let me explain my confession.

We have a friend, aged 96, who is in a care home north of Hereford. We haven’t seen her for far too long. To get there by train and bike would indeed have been possible but not for both of us. So we drove.

It’s an important point: is friendship more important than principle, or in theological terms, is law more important than grace?

Once, when I was an Oxfordshire vicar, I solemnly gave up cake for Lent. I took the 10.00am service on Ash Wednesday and then took communion round to a woman who was housebound. She sat in her armchair with an oxygen canister next to her. When we had finished our prayers, she delightedly announced that it was her birthday and you will have some cake won’t you vicar?

I ate the cake.

So I am not going to apologise or confess. I think friendship beats principle. And when we have to go to a family funeral in deepest Devon in a week or so I shall take the car again without embarrassment.

I was hoping to get back in time to go the gym for 30 minutes on the rowing machine this evening. Not penance. Just a good way of getting rid of the body cramp of 5 hours in the car. The traffic was too heavy. A lesson in itself.

Sermons and things tomorrow at my desk. But the weather looks good, so I might just sneak out for  a guilt free twenty miles  on the road bike in the sun.


2 thoughts on “Not gulity

  1. Sarah Hillman

    I’m sure you did the right thing. Principles are great but people should always come first. I had a similar cake-experience this Lent. Having given up anything with added sugar, I was faced with cakes bought specially for me on the second day of Lent. It would have seemed very churlish not to have accepted this generosity, and I’m ever mindful that in order for generosity to be put into practice, someone needs to receive as well as give. Our benefice Lent themes this year are Generosity, Praise and Penitence.
    Sorry to hear you gave a funeral – hope it goes well


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