Carol and I have just returned from holidaying in Somerset where we spent a week staying in the same block of flats as our London family. Our separate flat gave us some breathing space from our three grandchildren (let readers perceive between the lines!) Times spent together proved energetic and eventful. Hopefully they will remember happily sharing in a Civil War re-enactment with cannons and rifles, finding ammonites on a fossil beach, as well as slurping ice creams and cream teas. Yes, some days it rained but it didn't stop them from swimming in the (cold, cold) sea! For us, as grandparents it proved another wonderful occasion for getting to know the next generation.
When they arrived in the car-park outside the apartments we helped them unload multiple bags of clothes and provisions. Then Anton (aged 10, soon to be 11!) announced that he had something for me. Something he had thought up and created himself. He then presented me with a black paper cross on which he had very neatly pasted a sequence of brightly colored patches of tissue. The result was striking. He had remembered going into my prayer shed some time ago and seeing on the wall above my kneeler in my prayer corner an icon, a crown of thorns and one or two crosses (including a delicate wooden one from Jerusalem). He had asked about them and I said that they helped remind me of Jesus' love for me when I knelt to pray. He had stored this in his mind and determined to surprise me with his personal gift. I really treasure his thoughtfulness for several reasons....and I think you can probably guess why! What an addition in my prayer corner!