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Our Christmas Tree: a Work in Progress … and The Connection at St Martin’s

Posted on the 14 December 2017 by Angela Young @AngelaYoung4

My other half put our Christmas tree together yesterday (it has hundreds of branches, all with different color codes, all with their own little slots in its metal trunk). He also strung the tree with lights. Now it’s my turn to put on the decorations. So it’s a work in progress.Our Christmas Tree: a work in progress … and The Connection at St Martin’sAs everything is. Especially our lives. So the thing I would love to have dreamt up in a parallel universe where time is infinite and everything is possible is The Connection at St Martin’s. The heartwarming stories I’ve heard from homeless people whose lives have progressed through The Connection, not only with the obvious things like a temporary roof, warmth, hot food, somewhere to sleep and feel safe, somewhere to clean-up and wash clothes, but with listening to what’s happened, listening to why that person became homeless in the first place. Listening and staying, as the vicar of St Martin’s Sam Wells says, with people when they reach the most scary point in their story. ‘By walking with them,’ as he says, ‘while they address the issues in their own lives.’ By listening as they painfully unearth trauma. By listening without ever attempting to fix and without ever assuming there’ll be a happy ending. Because it’s only through listening and allowing the pain and the fear to be expressed that there’s a chance of progress.

The people who work at The Connection deserve anything and everything we can give them … especially our hearts, as the carol suggests:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? —
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, —
Yet what I can I give Him, —
Give my heart.


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