Minister’s Blog

16 September 2019

The spirit of the gospel is refreshingly found in Robert Louis Stevenson’s  delightful, ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ where he illuminates a joy in living in the simplest things – a child on a swing, a journey in a railway carriage, the mystery of my shadow.

Often, in the early morning, I have crossed the white bridge, stopped to take in the Preston Mill and gazed at the Tyne flowing on. The words of the Garden come to mind and celebrate the moment.

On goes the river

And out past the mill,

Away down the valley,

Away down the hill.

Away down the river,

A hundred miles or more,

Other little children

Shall bring my boats ashore.

The beauty of this poem is that it doesn’t espouse isolationism. It is a poem about being connected with others through the creativity of the one who makes a paper boat not for himself to keep but to let go in a joyful trust that it will make others happy.

This is the refreshment of the gospel – a sense of being at peace with the earth, the river and the mill and a natural instinct to reach out to others  in an imaginative way that through our anonymous gift of a paper boat they may find grace and joy!