Vicar’s Letter September 2016

Dear Friends,

“We human beings don’t realise how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive and loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes with which to see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, and a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one.” 

The quote comes from the autobiography of Malala – the girl who became famous for being shot by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school!  Her book is an inspirational and fascinating read – I read on holiday and strongly recommend it.  It shows incredible courage and resilience of character.

She continues: “I thank God for the hard-working doctors, for my recovery and for sending us to this world where we may struggle for our survival. Some people choose good ways and some choose bad ways. One person’s bullet hit me. It’s swelled my brain, stole my hearing and cut the nerve of the left side of my face in the space of a second. And after that one second there were millions of people praying for my life and talented doctors who gave me back my own body. I was a good girl. In my heart I had only the desire to help people. It wasn’t about the awards or the money. I always pray to God: I want to help people and please help me to do that.”

Malala is a Muslim and her belief in a God of love and generosity appear, in this reading, to be the same as my understanding of the God I meet through Jesus in the Bible. In these days when awful violence and terror are perpetrated by people who call themselves Muslims, do remember the Muslims of good faith who are appalled by the way their faith has been claimed by people with very contrasting and violent views, just as we are when people who claim to be Christians speak words of hatred and violence.

We live in an instant era of news and the headlines can be shocking and evoke knee-jerk responses.  As a Christian, I know I mustn’t jump to conclusions but above all else be prayerful and faithful to the God of love that I know, love and serve.  I thank God for Malala’s faith and testimony.

Peter Chantry

About Stephen

Lay Chair of All Saints’ Church Council and Treasurer. Retired Head of University Secretariat at Keele, Secretary of North Staffs Classical Association, Secretary of North Shropshire CLP, former Woore Parish Councillor, & now Vice-Chairman of Woore Neighbourhood Plan Team.

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