I made the phone call ...
“I’m sorry we won’t be needing the appointment – I’m afraid she didn’t make it”. The receptionist on the end replied with deep empathy...
“I am so, so sorry… thank you for letting us know..... sorry!”
Later that day we stood shoulder to shoulder, Bethan comforting the mother looking at the hole in the ground where Scruffy would be laid to rest. The girls said nice things about Scruffy the Guinea pig who had died - too early. Scruffy the Guinea pig who was part of our lives - for too short a time. Death is nothing at all you are you and I and me - whatever!
“Dad” Bethan said in exasperation as I stated to cover the Ravel shoe box with the surrounding soil “you’ve forgotten the dust to dust bit”. I apologise as Bethan and Eryn complete Scruffy’s rite of passage. Two lolly sticks with Scruffy written in biro mark the spot.
We go and get an ice cream, which suffices as the wake. As we sit and talk about life and death and grief. Bethan looks up from her lemon sparkle. “What if we were wrong and she isn’t dead and we have buried her alive?” I think of how when I picked her up with her back leg stiff as a board – and with John Cleese in my mind “Beth there is no doubt that Guinea Pig was dead”
Strangely, Scruffy and Fluffy have given me a little to think about regarding the emerging church. (Emerging Guinea pigs; Pet day...) Even in death my mind went back to Bethan’s question “What if we were wrong and she isn’t dead and we have buried her alive?”
The saddest thing within the emerging debate is how the church has been written off. Alright I hear and understand that we are covered in century’s of christiandom – but there you go, that is the way it is. Alright I hear and understand that we now live in a post-christian society and the traditional position of church has and is being eroded. Alright I hear and understand that the church’s identity has been forged in 'doing' rather than 'being' and that society is largely suspicious. That we have been caught in the trap of being 'attractional' rather than 'incarnational'. Yes, yes yes - I hear and understand it all. I even agree with the sentiments of analysis. But for some the church is dead and buried. But. “What if we were wrong and she isn’t dead and we have buried her alive?”
5-year old Eryn bursts into the room -"heh Dad I've a great idea..."
"we could get a kitten...!"
There is always something more attractive.....!