IN APRIL I shall be in my 70th year and find in myself that I should think of my Christian life, of the past and in the future.
I am sure many people before me have done this.
Our family hymn is ‘Now thank we all our God with heart and hand and voices ...’ which is a hymn of all occasions - births, marriages, death, illness, confusion, misunderstandings, etc.
I was born with my twin brother, and I have a late brother, two excellent loving parents and an extended family.
From birth I have been a member of St Mary’s and St Peter’s Church. I have had many positions: a Sunday School member, a chorister from the age of six or seven, and now server to the church as well as holding other positions including being representative of Montrose Churches Together. I have generally enjoyed being in this situation.
At school I was not the brightest spark, being a slow learner.
I became a grocer, was in the R.A.M.C., and for 25 years was a nurse at Sunnyside Royal Hospital, again enjoying these experiences about life and living.
I have much to thank God for. I admit to being extrovert and having respect for myself as I do for others, and thank God for my sense of humour and being able to laugh at my ‘foolishments’.
I am convinced God has one as well, and all is not doom and gloom but being a good Christian, whatever that means, I am not so sure.
We all go through a learning process and I sincerely hope to do so until my demise.
There are pieces of the Bible I don’t understand, especially in the Old Testament and it can lead to confusion in my mind, but I remind myself when it was written and how apt it was for that time of the world.
My favourite pieces are from the Book of Psalms, especially Psalms 23 and 139; but are mostly from the New Testament, the Birth of Christ, his teachings through parables, his actions, his common sense and reality, and mostly his crucifixion for not only one but for everyone.
As a nurse at Sunnyside Royal Hospital I became more confident in my belief in God, and perhaps He in me.
I was fortunate that I could put myself in the place of the patients (nowadays clients!) and understand their illnesses and anxieties simply by just being there to pat a hand and really listen to what is said to you as a nurse. Also, understanding persons who go through troubled times in the community because of unforeseen circumstances and illness.
One thing I do not do is judge.
I have had a period of depression myself, as many people have, thinking, ‘what’s it all about?’ and the ‘why me?’ syndrome, but have come through it.
Fortunately I have never been really had financial problems, or had nothing to eat, but can imagine what people go through.
Yes, I have been blessed and give thanks to God for this.
Strangely, I don’t really know what Heaven is, or hell, but am not afraid of death, for in my heart of hearts ‘I know my redeemer liveth’, and always remember the hymn ‘Just as I am without one plea’.
So may I conclude that what you see is what I am.
Francis A. Wilson
St Mary’s & St Peters Church