The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
This week’s reflection is from Revd David Alderman. David is Superintendent Minister of the Bristol & South Gloucestershire Circuit and a trustee of The New Room. He is also chair of The Bristol Methodist (homeless) Centre and part of the chaplaincy team to The Methodist Conference.
The tradition of doing an annual “spring clean” has diminished over the decades but I suspect we have all had a clear out as part of the cleaning regime that people engaged with in the early days of Lockdown. My neighbours put an assortment of unwanted items outside for people to upcycle as they cleaned every nook and cranny of their homes. As the weeks rolled into months the items to discover became less and less, finally the freebies stopped, that is until last week, when empty boxes were replaced with bags of “windfall apples”. To be honest they didn’t look much, but not wanting to miss a bargain I took a bag, and what an ill-assorted collection they proved to be –most battered and bruised ; some slug-eaten and shrivelled. But once cored, sliced these rejects were transformed into an delicious apple pie – you could not tell they were windfalls.
There are lots of windfalls in our world today, more than ever I suggest – people who have been bruised or broken, damaged by life.
This coming Sunday is Homeless and Prisons Sunday, normally at this time of the year local churches collect food for our homeless centre. During the Pandemic the staff have continued to work to ensure people, written out and consigned to the margins of life, the windfalls of society who needed food and support received it. For some lockdown has been a blessing, the council providing accommodation for those at greatest need, suddenly had a place they could call home. For those, I admit not all, it has been transformative, allowing them to move on from destructive lifestyles. Small steps but big ones for those who seized the opportunities. From being the windfalls of society to now taking their place within it. Jesus also recognised the potential of “windfalls” of his day, lepers, beggars, mentally ill, refugees and sought to restore them to their rightful place in the community too.
If we take a basket of windfalls and with love and care, we can transform them to make a feast, so too with the windfalls of society because we can all make a difference if we want to.
In God’s sight there are no rejects, windfalls or second class citizens, for we are all made in the image of God and have a unique contribution to make in his creation.
we pray for those who work in prisons and with the homeless
that their words and deeds may be transformative.
May they be beacons of your light and love
to the “windfalls” of our society
bringing healing and hope to all.