Peaceful Embrace (or the melting of boundaries)
used here by kind permission of the sculptor Briony Marshall
PEACEFUL EMBRACE and “Humankind” beautifully describe the tone of our Confirmation preparation session here late afternoon yesterday, and the tone, I hope and pray, of my ordinary everyday life and pastoral ministry. A mixed group of candidates and supporters supplied plentiful evidence of their heartfelt desire – though each is gloriously unique and “their own person” – for peaceful embrace, human kindness and the melting of boundaries. And the vision is being lovingly sculpted, made tangible in the world, in many more ways than one; and the relief in these beautiful faces, and in muscle and sinew of slender arms, rendered by Briony Marshall’s vision and care, embraces and touches me.
Can a young person confirming their religious faith be ready and willing peacefully to embrace “people of difference” and / or of other faith traditions? Can a person of any faith tradition, or none, be human and kind – as Jesus of Nazareth taught that all should be? Our Confirmation group this year reply “Yes!” resoundingly – so faith and hope and love abide, these three – in our Confirmation candidates, in countless unknown loving souls, in the graced and skilled hands of Briony Marshall. And in me.