Sunday, December 07, 2008

Day of resurrection

At the end of the morning Eucharists, there had been no visit to the scene of crime by anyone from the police, even though I met two local Community Support Officers yesterday and told them what had happened. They promised then, when we met at two in the afternoon, to check that an investigating officer had been assigned to make a visit. After all, we wanted to clear the damage and make things look presentable again. Faced with the mess, Pauline and I were bothered about doing nothing at all, as it looked so distressing to passers-by.

Brief discussion convinced us that it was right to get on with the job, carefully bagging the 'evidence' of the discarded alcopop bottle, to pass on if anyone did bother to contact us or just showed up from Central Police Station some time, and collect in the broken pieces to see if anything could be done with them.

One of Pauline's spare time interests is collecting Beswick china horses. She often buys damaged ones from eBay and does effective repairs on them. She was keen to see if she could do anything with the scores of tiny shards and bigger pieces, which had laid unexamined on the ground in the locked churchyard for thirty six hours.

When I arrived for evensong, she was there already, grinning with triumph. "Easy, all done and back in place", she said "Baby Jesus was only decapitated. It was the crib that shattered and took the force of the blow." I went to inspect, and was delighted to see that the figurine was resplendent on a bed of real straw lining a small brown papier-maché tray, such as supermarkets use to sell food products. If anything, it looked even better like this. Everyone at church shared the pleasure of the moment. "We couldn't let them win, could we?" She added, before we turned our thoughts to prayer.

You can't tell that the figure of Jesus is broken, lying there. But the story of the last 36 hours adds something extra, powerful and symbolic, to the meaning of this image of His birth.

I texted Steve from City Centre management when I got home from church to tell him the good news. Since we last spoke yesterday, he'd been in touch with Norman Sayer, Cardiff and South Wales' eminent local providor of roundabouts and big wheels for special occasions, to see if he could help with an emergency figurine. It turned out that Norman employs a professional model maker, as there's always repair work of this kind needed in fair-land. He was happy to offer to get a replacement figurine made. Someone else emailed me overnight in addition, and offered to pay for a new figurine. How quickly evil can be overcome by good!

There are times when it is impossible to see how any good can be drawn from evil situations. A small experience of this kind is what keeps the dynamo of hope turning over and shedding light in darkness.

No comments: