On the first Saturday of August, storytelling, welly throwing, teddy bears and much more could be found at The Glebe field (behind the Rectory, next to Ruskin’s View). This was The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, hosted by the local churches for our local community. We were blessed with good weather, cheerful volunteers and plenty of visitors who popped in for the strawberries and tea alongside the option of a teddy bear photo booth shoot, some traditional village games plus the chance to hear some stories in our story yurt. We loved seeing some of you take time out of the busy summer holidays to come and be part of this community event.
As Family Project Leader, events like these make my heart sing. I love seeing the connections that are made over a cup of tea, or an attempt at throwing bean bags in the right order up a ladder. Conversations flow more naturally when we are doing something else. Better still if that something else is fun and joy giving.
I see God in these moments. The moment when a sibling helps another sibling, enabling them to get the best possible score at the ladder game. The moment a young person makes a wise suggestion of the way to improve a procedure and they are listened to by an adult who quickly adopts this wise idea. The laughter between parents and volunteers as they set up a quick picture at the photo booth. The conversation in the corner where people are sharing news, glad that they caught this person, at this moment in time. God, for me, is in all these moments.
Too often, I think we look and perhaps only see God in the bigger moments of life. In the times when the world seems dark or alternatively seems bright; times of sadness or celebration. God is in these times too. Yet, the God that is in the simple exchanges, laughter and moments of unassuming selflessness, is the God that I think we would all benefit from trying to notice. I believe God is in and with all people, even people whom we least perhaps expect and that is something that is hard, at times, to comprehend. When you notice God in people, you gradually learn to see the depth and complexity of God. Most of all you notice that God is always present, always working and always ready to listen.
As a community we are very good at looking after one another. Since moving here, I have been able to see God clearly at work in the people I have met and the places I have visited, be that pub, community centre or school. Events such as The Teddy Bears’ Picnic simply allow me the time to reflect and ponder these findings, possibly aided by the stunning sunshine and perfectly ripe strawberries- a reflection again of God in nature. I hope in September we can each find moments where we spot God in a person we meet, know, love or perhaps, in the complex nature of God, even spot God in those people with whom we struggle.