6 July – Jeannine Davies, St Mary Magdalen Church, Sheet

Prepare Your Own Oil Lamps; Prepare for the Future

There’s a story in Matthew 25 about 10 Brides, 5 of whom kept their oil lamps at the ready with oil to spare and 5 who were unprepared, ran out of oil and were refused the loan of ‘spare’ oil which lead to them being unable to see Jesus …more or less! Whilst I understand the meaning of the story, I have always struggled at the selfishness of the 5 prepared Brides’ refusal to share out their own oil – however – recent events have woken me up regarding ‘preparedness’ …Totally!

One of my dear and lovely Sons-in-Law died very suddenly 3 months ago leaving my Daughter in a state of utter brokenness and her 2 girls not fairing much better.  He said he had prepared a file with all the information his Widow might need.  The question is, where did he put that file?  After weeks of frantic searching, our Daughter has been left with hunting old files and records.  The more she tries to sort his papers out, the more unexpected problems rear their ugly heads to cause further distress and she slips further down the line of shock and depression – and we can’t help; Data Protection etc.

The wonderful, truly reliable, Christian, considerate and very organised man wasn’t, it turns out, very organised at all.  He’d be devastated to see how badly everything is going for the Love of his Life.  But through his death, those of us left behind have been jogged into our own states of affairs; we weren’t entirely ready either and we’ve all had to ‘fill’ our own oil lamps, ready for use and with oil to spare – and while I fully admit to taking the story of the 10 Brides out of context somewhat, the 5 prepared Brides couldn’t have loaned their oil to the unprepared Brides because each of their, and indeed, our oil lamps, are different.  We really don’t know when we will be called:  we must prepare our own lamps to light the way, not only for our own Heavenly journeys but for those who are left behind here on earth.  Please, please, get your paperwork in order and ensure it’s ‘at the ready.’