Crime at the Vicarage Garden...
Yes, it’s true! Since last month, Yours Truly has been a victim of crime!
For the first time ever, the plum tree in the Vicarage garden had surprised us by producing a decent amount of fruit. We returned home one afternoon to find it stripped - not a single plum left, nothing even lying on the grass. Admittedly, it was hardly the Crime of the Century - people suffer far worse, as indeed we have ourselves in the past - but there was still the sense of disbelief, violation, sadness and uneasiness at the thought of someone having been there uninvited.
Harvest, when we give thanks for God’s goodness to us, is approaching. It would be wrong to be selfish over our small part of it – after all, in Ancient Israel it was the custom, when the harvest was gathered in, to leaving some of it for the those who really needed it. Had someone called at the door and asked if they could have had a handful of plums, the answer would have been yes. But we hadn’t got as far as gathering in our harvest, and nothing was left for us or anyone else, whether they needed it or not.
When I was teaching, I met plenty of children for whom a handful of plums would have been a rare treat. I would like to think that our plums went to someone like that.
Of course, it may be that someone, somewhere, is conscious of what the Prayer Book calls ‘misdoings.’ They might even be ‘heartily sorry’ and find the remembrance of their misdoings ‘grievous’ and the ‘burden of them intolerable’. In which case, they could always try easing their conscience with a donation towards the St Mary’s Lychgate Appeal…