Pastoral Letter –
Wed 21st Oct:
My Dear Friends,
Last Sunday we celebrated the Harvest. I am reminded of how Robert Burns, himself a farmer, once accidentally smashed open and destroyed the nest of a fieldmouse when he was out ploughing his fields. Burns felt very sorry for what he had done; and he later wrote a poem about it. “Ode to a Mouse”.
“Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to build a new ane.”
Later on, Burns reminds us all that “The best-laid schemes o’ Mice and Men – gang aft agley.”
Nothing, you see, was too small to escape the notice of a man like Robert Burns. That little mouse was interesting to him because its plight reminded him of his own. He too knew what it was to suffer poverty, misfortne and insecurity. That wee mouse was now homeless, shivering and terrified. The Farmer stopped his work to try to comfort the mouse, speaking to the little creature with sympathy, compassion, understanding and concern.
Burns apologised to that little mouse who had been rendered homeless through circumstances outwith its own control. Burns cared about that. He realised that, whether you are a mouse or a man, your plans and hopes and dreams can so easily be disrupted.
The fact is that God wants us all to care. There are so many unfortunate people in our world today. Folk whose plans and hopes and dreams have been shattered and lie in ruins. The little Harvest Mouse reminds us that we are so fortunate. We should appreciate God’s blessings; and be grateful for the good things we enjoy. We must also have the sensitivity and compassion to care about others less fortunate. Harvest reminds us to give thanks, to care, and to share.
Liz joins me in sending our love to you all.