Recently, I visited an elderly man who has been housebound for a few weeks as a result of surgery on his back.

I had learned through a mutual friend, that he was very frustrated as a result of his confinement and his inability not only to drive a vehicle, but even be a passenger in one.

I called to see him at a pre-arranged time and I took him Holy Communion.

After our initial greeting and the spiritual elements of my visit were concluded in an atmosphere of calm and prayerful respect, we moved on to the social aspect of my visit.

As we sat drinking a cup of tea, I gave him the parish newsletter which I had brought with me.

I was surprised – very surprised – at the joy this newsletter brought forth within him.

He was delighted to receive it, his face lit up and he played with it in his hands.

He wanted to read it immediately, which would have been of no problem to me, but he said, “No, I’ll save it for later”

There was something in his manner, which seemed to suggest that my visit and the newsletter had somehow restored some balance, some connection, some belonging again into his life.

It was a wonderful feeling to have been able to make someone so happy with an hour of my time and a newsletter.

My next blog will be: My Orbit of Longing

William Defoe

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