A vocation of love
27th April 2017
Here is a story I have heard today.
She was born during the early years of the Second World War. She grew up in the Black Country. She met her husband in one of those happenstance events - just thrown together on a night out organised by mutual friends. They met before Christmas. were engaged within a couple of months and married by the Autumn. They had two lovely children. She devoted herself to them while he worked in a local factory. She inspired her children to live life to the full and gave a very loving foundation.
Then, aged 40, she took herself off to night school in order to get some qualifications to train as a nurse. Alongside a whole class of 18-year-olds she qualified after 146 weeks. And so began her new vocation. She rose to become a ward sister and combined her gifts of straight-talking and no-nonsense with her love and compassion. It was very fulfilling. She changed through it.
Then, after 49 years' marriage, during which she had also traveled widely to Asia and the far east, with her husband, her life took another extraordinary turn. She left her husband and, out of the shock and trauma of divorce, found a new vocation as grandmother to an adopted family from an Indian heritage.
For the last five years of her life, this new home expanded to welcome in her son and her daughter and her former husband. She poured out her life for this new family, somehow drawing in her blood family. Out of the mess came a new kind of family - not without pain and hurt, but overwhelmingly, full of love.
If our common human calling from God is to bear his image, tonight I have seen the beauty and diversity of God in an unprepossessing anonymous three-bedroomed home in the parish where a Black Country-woman united with love two families whose roots lie 5,000 miles apart.