There's no particular reason for this picture. It just happens to be one I have taken lately on this holiday which has not been a holiday. There has been a lull in work related activities, as Dunedin clears out for the summer leaving a sleepy little provincial town to mind the fort while our bustling, urbane little city heads off to Central for the summer. While everybody has been gone, I have been clearing out stuff. Clearing out junk from cupboards and the cellar, and I'm not finished yet, no sirree, not by a long chalk. Clearing out self sown natives and convolvulus and jasmine from the garden at Anderson's Bay and I'm not finished yet, no sirree, not by a long chalk. And sitting with people who have old issues that need to be resolved and listening and praying and crying with them and I'm not finished there yet either. But it all gets done. Skis, bikes, sleds, books and chairs pile onto the beat up old red trailer en route to the landfill or the op shop; greenery gets fed into the city council's compost maker; people smile and acknowledge the goodness of God and get ready to move on; and in each place the pile of festering crud gets smaller, and more manageable, and in a shorter time than anyone ever imagined, will disappear entirely.

Not that the process is trouble free. On Saturday I took a tangled mass of vines to the landfill. It weighed, probably, more than I do and it was a struggle to get it loaded and a struggle to get it unloaded. About five minutes down the road on the way home with a light and empty trailer, I noticed that I wasn't wearing my glasses. They are rimless ones with titanium frames, very light, and I knew what had happened. Somewhere in the process of pruning, dragging, tying, driving, untying, heaving and dumping, a stray vine had flicked my specs and knocked them off. Now they were a) deep in the recesses of the garden, or b) in the process of being scrunched up by the mulching machine, probably b). A U-turn and a quick inspection of the place I had parked was fruitless. So, it was a fast and illegal (without my license required spectacles) trip home and a ferret amongst the junk I had not thrown out for some old glasses which would at least let me drive if not read. Then, on Sunday afternoon, crawling around the nether regions of the garden looking for more viney miscreants in the distance though not close up, I noticed I was again spectacle free. As Oscar Wilde might have told me, "To lose one set of glasses, Mr. Wright, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

The good people at Stewart and Caithness have today made me up a pair of glasses that let me drive. They are, arguably, not the last word in fashionable eyewear, but they are steel framed and strong and dark coloured, so they stand a good chance of being found in the undergrowth, and they're cheap enough not to bother the insurance company if they are not. On Friday S & C will measure me up for a zippy new pair that should allow me to drive and read and look my usual dashing self, any two at the same time, take your pick.


You run the risk of losing it, temporarily, when you immerse yourself in the murky stuff, but

New vision.

That's what comes, eventually, from dealing with long neglected rubbish.


Elaine Dent said…
You made me laugh on a Monday when ministry is definitely hard, and when it is even harder to remember whom the Holy One has called me to be amidst all the other expectations flying at me. New vision is needed. I'm looking for my spectacles :) I think they might be over there...God's vision and a congregation's vision might not be the same thing. Thanks for the metaphor.
Katherine said…
Hmmm. I've lost two of those flash, light, coated, titanium jobs in very similar circumstances. This heavy-rimmed pair are NOTICEABLE when they fall off. And of course as a result I haven't lost them.
Perhaps I'm taking you too literally today. But then sometimes spectacles are just spectacles.