<-- Google Analytics START --> <-- Google Analytics END -->

john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, December 22, 2007
    Picking up the detail
    Christmas, as often happens, comes early for me. The next three days loom heavily as work... but the past 48 hours have been mostly devoted to catching up with various friends and family, eating out, calling in, swopping gifts, exchanging stories of the past months when the demands of our ludicrously hectic lives have kept us apart.

    I've been tempted to assume that all that I gained from my sabbatical has disappeared in the return to routine; but in truth some good things seem to have lingered. Perhaps the best thing I have - so far - held onto is the ability to listen more closely than before, to the stories of familiar people and familiar places, something I tried to cultivate on my two-month journey through the obvious and the mundane.

    I've noticed this today in reflecting back on the conversations of my early-Christmas. Though I spent this time mostly with the people I'm most familiar with in life, I realise that by staying attentive I've actually learned a whole lot more about them than I knew before. Our reunions have been routine but every one of them has revealed something fresh and new... not necessarily remarkable, but sufficient to make me think there's enough in all our lives to keep our friendships fresh for a long while yet. If we keep the eyes and ears of our hearts open to each other.

    Hopefully I may be able to find the same thing happening as I now have to turn again to the work of illuminating that nativity story which is very like an old friend with whom over-familiarity might have bred complacency.