Image: Pamela with Dorothy in the church hall on April 23. Photo by Andrew.
A toast to Pamela
A toast to Pamela Briggs
On the occasion of her 95th birthday
April 23, 2023
A year ago, we read from John 12, where Mary of Bethany anoints the feet of Jesus, and “the house is full of the scent of the ointment” – costly perfume.
One of the disciples criticises Mary (for extravagance) and Jesus, himself under scrutiny and pressure, rebukes the man. “Leave her alone …”
In the light of this story, we asked: What is the nature of true devotion? A private and/or public affair? A religious and/or ideological concern? Conventional and/or counter-cultural?
Both Mary and Jesus are prepared to make themselves vulnerable, and thus model/embody: receiving love/wisdom – responding to jealousy/hatred/foolishness – defending and protecting the most vulnerable.
Jesus cites an ancient text (Deut. 15): “There will always be those among us who are in need, so I require of you that you be always generous with the poor and needy in your land.”
Mary understands – she welcomes/comforts/affirms/anoints the Outsider, the Persecuted One … the Teacher of Compassion …
What is the nature of true devotion? A private and/or public affair? A religious and/or ideological concern? Conventional and/or counter-cultural?
Pamela said: “I show my devotion through my spirituality – learning to be a consistently loving person.”
And our house is filled with the scent of the ointment – costly perfume.
Our hall and church, congregation-community-garden, extended family … filled with the sweet fragrance of Pamela’s love and compassion, encouragement, support, prayer, friendship, laughter, patience, joy …
Pamela, we raise our glasses/voices/spirits to you in thanks and awe …
Toast by Andrew Collis.