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Thought for the Week – 7th April 2024


A couple of days ago, a mother of one of the Israelis still being held hostage spoke on the radio. She had no time for Hamas, the kidnappers but she spoke of how she used her pain to understand the pain of the civilians in Gaza. This quality, of using our experience to reach out to others is very important; all to often we are content to shield ourselves behind a wall of indifference.

The same day as I heard of the interview, I was sent a poem by Geoffrey Stothert-Kennedy, a priest who served as a chaplain in World War 1 and was nick-named “Woodbine Willie” because of the cigarettes he would give to the troops. It is called “Indifference” and it chimed with what I had been thinking as a result of the interview.

When Jesus came to Golgotha
They hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet,
And made a Calvary.
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns;
Red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days,
And human flesh was cheap.
When Jesus came to Birmingham,
They simply passed Him by;
They never hurt a hair of Him,
They only let Him die.
For men had grown more tender,
And they would not give Him pain;
They only just passed down the street,
And left Him in the rain.
Still Jesus cried, “Forgive them,
For they know not what they do.”
And still it rained the winter rain
That drenched Him through and through.
The crowds went home and left the streets
Without a soul to see;
And Jesus crouched against a wall
And cried for Calvary.

Rev David Poyner