Nature, red in beak and claw…

What a lovely day.

A house full of friends and family all day- people calling in, people coming to stay, food shared, music played…

The old house feels once again like a place of welcome and refuge- a kind of oasis- which is what we always wanted for our home.

By way of contrast, Dunoon has been a rather scary place over the past few days. There has been a murder, a serious road crash involving young people racing cars, a woman jumping from an ambulance and,  more comically, the theft of an expensive yacht by a couple of drunk and bungling thieves. This resulted in a police search, and the millionaire owner taking off in his helicopter looking for his boat- only to crash into Loch Long when he found it (thankfully only sustaining minor injuries.) The police found the boat, with one of the would be pirates fast asleep in the scuppers!

As my mate Andy would say, the combination of sunshine, cheep booze and too much time on people’s hands is rarely a good one, and he should know as he has spent a lot of time trying to clean up the aftermath.

There is this contrast all the time with we humans- the beautiful creatures that we are, who are capable of doing such dreadful things to one another, almost on a weekend whim…

I wonder that we are surprised.

In my garden there is a tall tree, in which two magpies have built a nest. Over the past week or so, the branches of the tree have been the site of a battle between Mr and Mrs Magpie and a large black crow, who has been constantly trying to get into the nest and carry off the young chicks. For a while the Magpies seemed to be holding their own, despite one of them losing most of its tail feathers. But today, a half eaten chick lay on the ground.

It seems so cruel- but then it is a jungle out there, and birds need to eat.

All the more reason for us to hold to a different path, in the way of the Kingdom of God…

And to rejoice in the welcome and hospitality that we receive and give.

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