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A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End – Day 7 – Everyone Needs a Haver Friend

To Read: Click on song title to watch a video

500 Miles

from Sunshine on Leith

When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be,
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next you
When I go out, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
If I get drunk, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m working, yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you
And when the money, comes in for the work I do
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you
When I come home (when I come home) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow-old (when I grow-old) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles

Da da da (da da da)….

When I’m lonely, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you
And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time when I’m with you
When I go out (when I go out) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
And when I come home (when I come home) yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home with you
I’m gonna be the man who’s coming home with you 

But I would walk 500 miles

Da da da (da da da)….

 

From the Scriptures:

The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgement.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing personal opinion.

Proverbs 18.1-3

 

To Reflect: 

If you are a Sassenach you may well have to look up the meaning of the word ‘haver’ to gain a fuller understanding of today’s reflection. To the likes of me, first born son of a Highlander and named for the patron saint of Scotland (as well as after one of Her Majesty’s Submarines!) the word is not at all strange.

To have someone in your life who will, even if they can’t make any sense of your ‘havering’, be with you for 500 miles and then 500 more is a very, very special gift.

In ‘Sunshine on Leith’ (do try to watch it if you have not already done so) Sunshine on Leiththe relationships between the actors are complex and varied; comrades-in-arms, childhood sweethearts where things don’t quite work out as expected, and the rock solid husband and wife who have to deal with orphaned child from a previous love, and of course the ‘happy ever after’ outside Waverley Railway Station.

There must have been a whole lot of ‘havering’ going on!

I suppose that is the point of walking ‘500 miles and then 500 more’.  Along the way we get all of the ‘haver’ out of the way and our companionship and fidelity makes sense of our nonsense and we are safe, even if we find ourselves back on patrol in a war zone.

The journey of faith is one we must travel alone but it is best done in company.  Throughout the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, there are not many solo acts.  Moses and Aaron, Eli and Samuel, David and Johnathan, Elijah and Elisha and then on to Jesus and the Twelve, Paul and Barnabas.  Not all is easy, we meet Golden Calves to distract us and fears to discourage us (Paul and Barnabas part company over John Mark) along the way.

If we are fortunate we are blessed with special people – they are called many names, Spiritual Directors, Soul Friends, Midwives of the Faith – who will listen to all our ‘havering’  and help us along the journey for the next 500 miles.

The list of those who have been my ‘haver’ partners is long and rich, (Nicolas, Thabo, Kate, Patricia, Hayley, Frances, Judy) and I cherish each and every one of them. They have brought perspective and sanity and wisdom into my life at times when I have been tempted to follow the voices I hear within me instead of the Call of The One Who Loves Us Best.  I would be lost without them and their gentle spirit brings balance to my often tipsy faith.

It is an oft-repeated aphorism that ‘whoever has themselves as a guide has a fool for a Master’, 500 miles and then 500 more is a long way to travel alone and it is easy to get lost.

Today rejoice and give thanks for all those, however they have done it, have been like those who live in the Sunshine of Leith.

And if I haver, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

 

To Pray: 

You have come from afar
and waited long and are wearied:
let us sit side by side
sharing the same bread drawn from the same source
to quiet the same hunger that makes us weak.
Then standing together
let us share the same spirit, the same thoughts
that once again draw us together in friendship
and unity and peace.

Prières d’Ozawamick – Canadian Inuit Liturgy

 

To Do: 

1)    If you have one, check in with your spiritual director/soul
friend some time before Easter.
2)    If you haven’t got one such pray about whether this is the next step to take on your journey of ‘500 miles and 500 more’
3)    If you have received the care of others as a soul friend pray about whether you are called to help accompany others.

Encore: Click on song title to watch a video

Sky Takes the Soul is sung at the very beginning of Sunshine on Leith by a group of squaddies inside an Armoured Personnel Vehicle before one of them sustains an injury at the hands of the enemy.  It is typical squaddie fatalism and very real.  Remember those whose walk of ‘500 miles and 500 more’ takes them into danger on your behalf.

 

Acknowledgements:

Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018

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