Pause for Thought – a five minute read – 17

Exodus 2 v 1 – 10/ Luke 2 v1 – 7

I’m still deciding how to deal with the roof space. There is so much stuff deposited up here over the last 47 years that’s it is a problem of where to start. The only consolation is that the roof will never blow off regardless of the strength of the wind due to the excess weight.

I will make a start with a couple of bags, one is a bag of old clothes, one is a bag of donkey costumes from a nativity years ago, and there is another bag of Top Hats from a church concert years ago at a time when we were young enough to be able to remember lines and dance steps. Then, in a corner of the roof space where the light bulb can just reach, something catches my eye.

It is a coach built Silver Cross pram. It’s not that I had forgotten that it was up here, but it had slipped my mind, if you see what I mean. But there it is looking a bit sorry for its self but still maintaining a bit of dignity.

Jean and I had bought the pram from a friend in Bradford in November 1971, ready for our first daughter, Sam who was born in January 1972. It was second hand but in perfect condition when we bought it although it had serviced our friend’s two children prior to coming into our possession. I think this pram must be well over 55 years old, and through the layer of dust I can still see a glimmer of gloss on the metalwork.

I can remember Jean and I pushing this pram down Haworth Road in Bradford on a Sunday morning on our way to Church, proud first time parents looking forward to showing off our new daughter. Where have those years gone?

The pram was something special, it was constructed of metal, coach built, with a two tone paint job, brown velour hood and front cover, chrome wheels with white tyres, and even a chrome carrying basket between the wheels under the body. It was like driving a Rolls Royce down the road, it even had chrome Silver Cross badge on the side.

Jean always said that even in the winter, inside the pram was nice and warm and as the hood and front cover was completely water proof the pram gave complete protection. I remember there was also a white gauze net that fitted over the pram to stop cats jumping in, not that it was ever needed.  

I think we used the pram for our second daughter, Helen, here in Derby, but I believe we bought a new one for Sarah. It was a pram that folded down into a push chair and although it was more convenient and easier to in and out of the car, it was never quite the same as the Silver Cross. It was at this time when the redundant pram was shoe horned into the roof space where it has languished ever since.

Today it is still sitting there where it was deposited all those years ago, in the dim corner of the roof, with a multitude of things piled on top. The once admired brown velour hood and front cover, are now compressed under the weight of the load imposed from above and unlikely to ever be restored  to their former glory. It’s four wheels are all missing, but hopefully hidden in the surrounding area under the pile of jumble.

It’s quite sad.

I started to think about the scriptures, I know there is no direct reference to any prams, Silver Cross or any other for that matter, in the Bible, but there are many references to hardship and cruelty to new born children. Right from the start, (Exodus 1 v 22) the Egyptian King declared that all baby boys born to the Hebrew people must be thrown in the river.

We can only imagine how Jochebed must have felt as she lowered baby Moses into the basket and then into the river, desperately hoping that the Kings daughter would have pity on him.

It can’t have been easy for Mary as she lowered her baby into the manger, not the best place to lay any child but certainly not the Son of God.

Or is that the theological point? Was that just the place for Jesus to start his life on earth, to be born into the darker side of poverty? He came to make the poor rich, to set the prisoner free, to make the blind see and the deaf hear, and to give peace and hope to those who suffer. Jesus preached humility, caring and love, so where better to start his ministry than in the poverty of a borrowed stable. Would his coming be as recognised in the affluence of a royal palace?

He came to save the Jews but they didn’t recognise him so he turned to the Gentiles, to all the nations and all people who will accept him as Lord and saviour.

From the poverty of the stable came the power and authority of God the Father through his son Jesus Christ.

I have just had a thought, yes I do have them occasionally, I have a 50 year old classic car, if I cleaned up the Silver Cross pram they would make a nice display at a classic car meeting.  I’ll put on the list along with the garden bench and all the other jobs.

Derek T.