Back to reality after a glorious week on Yanuca Island in Fiji a mixture of rain and overcast on the first 3 days and then 3 wonderful sunny days to swim and lounge about.
Fiji was the first time that I was able to see my nephew Lucas, his family and his mother – Barbara (my sister-in-law) – since his father (my brother Tony) died in August 2021. Due to COVID our family couldn’t fly over to Melbourne for his funeral, so I conducted his funeral service via zoom. So, Fiji was a time of sharing our grief and memories. We also celebrated my sister Helen’s 60th birthday the christening of Lucas’ daughter, Viola junior. It was a time for the 3 ‘R’s, remembering, relaxation, and recreation.
I had an interesting experience at lunch today. I went to my usual café across the road at Colonial Café and bought a sandwich, a cookie, and my usual lemon, honey and ginger drink. I accidentally used an expired EFTPOS card so it was declined. I tried again and declined. The woman serving me knew it was unusual so she said go and take a seat and we can sort it out later, as I was holding up the queue. A few minutes later she came and sat across from me and said, “see that woman over there? Well, she has paid for your lunch”. OMG, I said to her, “you didn’t need to do that but thank you very much I’ll be sure to pay it forward.” I’ve always been one to pay someone’s bill at the till when they are short or their card’s declined and so it was a first time for me to be on the receiving end. I wasn’t embarrassed or anything because I knew it was a problem with my card and not my bank balance. I told her that I was the minister across the road and if ever she was passing by the church to pop in for a coffee. It certainly was a humbling experience for me.
You’ve heard it said “give and you will receive”, that’s what I experienced today at lunch time. Like I said, it’s funny to be on the receiving end when I don’t fit the category of needy and I can afford to buy my own lunch. But grace and favour come to all of us when we least expect it. No matter how difficult times are, particularly in this day and age of rising cost of living, God’s grace is all around us in the people we meet in everyday situations. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are the face of Christ to others who might be struggling? It’s a humbling and grace-filled opportunity when this happens. Blessings, Fei
You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/77822ac27b29/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9208627