Misery, frustration, rage and despair are not attributes we normally associate with Marketors’ Chaplain The Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce.
However, in her sermon for the Second Sunday after Trinity (click here to listen), Alison confesses to having suffered all four last week.
It happened like this. Vital computer equipment was not delivered to the Vicarage on time, which led to Alison ‘phoning the courier. After what felt like hours hanging on the line, she was told that the equipment had been delivered. When she rejected that explanation, the call centre said that no-one was at home to sign for the package – which was also untrue.
Concurrently she discovered that electricians working in the house had left the doorbell unconnected, so that too had to be fixed. The rage from all of which gave Alison a sleepless night.
Although she usually rises early to spend time with God before the day’s activities, on this day she rose at 5.00am and spent an extra hour in prayer and contemplation. She discovered she had within her the means to keep going calmly and deal with distress.
A different point of view led to her being courteous to the girl in the call centre and the delivery was rearranged. The electricians sped round to fix the bell. Alison stood in the street to meet the computer delivery van, socialising with her neighbours as she waited.
How we live and choose to conduct ourselves are the things that matter, she concluded. When you approach prayer in a spirit of openness and trust rather than dictating to God what we think He ought to be doing in a given situation, oddly enough it seems to work.