Pause for Thought – a five minute read – 21

Matthew 18 v 21 – 35

Being confined to home for the past few weeks, sorting out cupboards and wardrobes etc., it has brought back many memories particularly from my childhood. Some I have already shared with you but one has come to mind that I thought I would share with you now.

I used to have an Uncle Ted and Auntie Annie, both passed away unfortunately. They were on my mum’s side and lived in Staffordshire, and in my mum’s words were, ‘ Posh’.

Uncle Ted was a builder like my dad but he built small housing estates under the company name of ‘Allman Brothers’. They seemed to be a bit more successful than my dad was, for example Ted had a car, a very big car, it was a Jaguar with big front wings and even bigger headlights. They also lived in a bungalow which my mum adored. Every time we went to visit Ted and Annie mum would say as we set off home in our ex-army truck, ‘ Oh I would love a bungalow like theirs, it’s beautiful’, and dad just concentrated on driving.

I always enjoyed visiting Ted and Annie, it was quite a journey through the countryside different to being in Bradford, and in addition Auntie Annie always put on a special tea, or at least it seemed special, she had cakes and everything.

It was when they came to visit us in Bradford that the fun started. There was no way that mum could compete house to house with Auntie Annie, after all she had a bungalow with a meticulously kept garden at the front and the rear, while we had a mid- terrace house with a back yard containing dad’s truck. The bungalow had a dining room, lounge, kitchen and front porch, whereas we had a front room and a back room, but it did not stop the dynamic duo from coming to visit.   

My sisters and I always knew when Uncle Ted and Auntie Annie were coming because a week prior, mum would start cleaning the house. The rugs, (mum made the rugs) were hung on the line in the back yard and had seven bells beaten out them, the lino in the back room was washed with bleach, the curtains were taken down and washed, and dad had to repair the cracked half-moon glass in the back door which had been on the ‘list’ since the previous year. Then there was the Lavender furniture polish, the table, chairs, and the display cabinet in the front room were all targets of the polish and duster till the whole house smelt of a mixture of bleach and Lavender.

It was my sisters and my job to tidy up all of our own things   and finally on the morning of the visit, my sisters would vacuum the front room carpet square and I would help dad tidy up the back yard. The final touch was that dad would light a fire in the front room, this only happened at Christmas and at the royal visit (Ted and Annie). I was then sent to sit on the front door step to watch for the Jaguar bouncing down the unmade road to our front door, and mum would have a final look round to make sure everything was in place.

I never knew how Auntie Annie managed it but within ten minutes of her arrival she would arise from the settee and ceremoniously pick up a sweet paper or something like, from under the chair and hand it to mum. Where it came from I’ll never know, but she found it.

It was almost as if she had to make a statement, ‘No matter how hard you try I will always find something’. Mum just sighed and carried on, dad always said that Annie put the sweet paper there herself, and my sisters and me could honestly say it was not us because we were never allowed in the front room.

It’s not like that with Jesus. Through his death and resurrection we are forgiven of all our sin even the sweet paper hidden under the chair, all are wiped out for good.

In Methodism we believe our faith is founded on four principles;

  1. All need to be saved.
  2. All may be saved.
  3. All may know themselves saved
  4. All may be saved to the uttermost

For those who turn to Jesus Christ, confess their sin and offer their repentance, their sins will be forgiven completely and to the uttermost.

My mum actually got her bungalow but had to wait until 1969, unfortunately she passed away a few years later.

Derek T.