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‘Making peace through the Blood of His Cross’ – Col.1:20
There was a padre who lived with his men in the trenches, sharing their risks, whose name was Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, affectionately known as Woodbine Willie.
Sharing the horrors of the Somme and Passchendaele, he tended the wounded and buried the dead for which he was awarded the Military Cross. The citation reads that he had shown the greatest courage and disregard for his own safety by attending the wounded under heavy fire.
He wrote simple rhymes, reflecting the question found on the lips of many: ‘Where is God in all this?’ In the famous line: ‘I was crucified at Cambrai and again outside Bapaume’, Geoffrey reflected on that perfect sacrifice given, once for all, for the sin of the world.
If Geoffrey wanted to be with his men under fire, so would Jesus want to be with them as one who had suffered and given up His life for those He loved.
In the horror or war, Geoffrey glimpsed hope, sin atoned and the victory of the Cross.
‘Blessed are the eyes that see the agony of God
Blessed are the feet that tread the paths that He has trod
Blessed are the souls that solve the paradox of pain
And find the path, that piercing it, leads through to Peace again.’
May we in our suffering be granted a glimpse of hope, a pathway through pain.
David James, Glencruitten House.