Solace in old stones.
Somewhere else I mentioned that in times of trouble old stones provide comfort.
I spent this afternoon at a funeral of a farmer in a little village not far away. He was born over eighty years ago in the house next to the church and died in a house next to the church. The little church has seen hundred of years pass by and lives long forgotten have played their dramas out around it. And it is fitting for a farmers funeral that the hymns came from the Harvest Festival section of the hymnal. The Christian religion is an agrarian one - talk of Shepherds, gathering in, flocks and separating the sheep are not abstract concepts to a congregation who farm the Wiltshire Downs. Life and Death are the constant companions of farming. And this afternoon we replayed a scene that has happened for thousands of years in this ancient landscape. It is all natural and proper, and not modern at all. The old stones of the Church provide a constant backdrop and a permanence that reminds us that our troubles will soon pass and don't amount to very much in the sweep of time.
God Bless the Farmer.