Kirk Braddan

The Vicar's Letter

From the April edition of Branch, the Kirk Braddan parish magazine

Happy Easter

It feels a bit odd writing that. There's something poetic perhaps about it being a year since I last wrote a Vicar's Letter, as it was for Easter.

Last April, a long-drawn out spinal condition finally took me out of action, but not how I thought. Having had two previous operations I thought a third might be likely. Unfortunately, those placed to help me chose not to. I was dismissed by one doctor here as having to live with my condition.

The fact I'd lost the use of my legs seemed lost on him …

I wouldn't be writing this letter – or wishing you a Happy Easter – were it not for the extraordinary intervention of what can only be said to be Divine Hands. God, in the way only God does, swept aside those who refused to help and found me someone who would. Then God gave me a community whose support in the most remarkable of ways ensured I could receive the treatment I needed.

Two months later I looked out of a hospital window and could stand again. In a way I'd not done for years. For nearly fifteen years I'd lived with an approaching menace which, as illness does for so many of us, robs us of our freedom to live to our fullest. But while I won't be running and jumping any time soon, at least I can now move again in ways I'd had taken from me.

Recovery is slow. But sometimes these things are. I just have to be grateful for the things I can now do. For the life given back to me where before there was a void.

That first Sunday morning when Jesus stepped out of the darkness and into the sunlight, surrounded by a garden of opportunity and those pleased to see him, we can only imagine the horror of what he went through before.

The victim of humanity's greatest failures, the carrier of all our burdens, not simply faced a void but willingly entered it in order to clear it out and come out the other side. Clearing the universe of all its malignancy and misery so that nothing can get between us and the Resurrection.

Whatever trials we face in life, be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or any other '-als', they do not exist to destroy us. They aren't even there to test us (I've never personally been a fan of that idea). They exist because this world isn't the end. It isn't the 'be all and end all' of who we are or what we're supposed to live out.

We are made for beautiful things, brighter things. Everlasting things. We are made for the Resurrection to live inside us. So that when the world doesn't provide what we need when we need it, we do not lose hope.

The Resurrection living in so many people gave my legs a second shot at this life. I wouldn't be walking again if that first Easter two thousand years ago hadn't happened. When it did, a shockwave of love went through history and humanity, making a truth echo down the ages for billions of people to live and experience.

Christians carry this truth so that those in even the darkest of places are reminded that what they go through will one day end. That sunlight awaits them.

Because God is with us.

God HAS us.

God never lets us go.

Happy Resurrection to us all.