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Friday, 22 July 2016


We sat round the kitchen table, four hurting young women, the manager of the refuge and my friend and me. I found myself tongue-tied, unable to initiate conversation in case I strayed into forbidden territory. 

They, too, were quiet. Two of them spoke English as a second language. All of them have children. All are trying to navigate the situation in which they find themselves with grace. We sought out needs we might be able to fill. Rugby for kids? Any holiday clubs during these long summer months? Swimming pools? Bikes? Befrienders to give tours of the town to newcomers? Childcare for any who find work?

We are all here to walk one other home. Some paths drop suddenly into gorges and require helpers to abseil down and bring the victims up, one at a time. I’m not so good at heights and have never abseiled, but here I go.

I don’t know where this connection might lead, but having read Jesus’ gentle words to the woman caught in adultery, and the woman at the well, I know that he was sitting round that table this morning with us. God bless them all.

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