the friend online
31 August 2007


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Considering the blackbird
Harvey Gillman's recent book, Consider the Blackbird, sits invitingly on my table
  • The bird, a male, looks beautifully preened and alert, as if about to fly off
  • I pick up the book and consider not just the blackbird and its imagined song, but the author's own song, deep and challenging in the way that good ministry is
  • His spiritual search finds echoes that resonate with this reader

  • We are probably meant to think of birds, lilies and wild nature in general as there to serve purposes independent of human existence, but we cannot help being curious about our surroundings and are enriched by our discoveries
  • Earlier this year, I saw a strange bird perched on a shrub in my back garden, blackbird-sized but with a totally white head and chest, symmetrically patterned, with a black body and yellowy beak
  • We thought it was an exotic migrant and studied the bird books, to no avail
  • More recent, closer sightings have confirmed that it is an albino blackbird, a male
  • 'Poor bird', we said, 'it won't survive
  • The other blackbirds will mob it
  • ' Not exactly Darwinism at work, but an instinctive xenophobia or colour prejudice

  • Ruth Camm & Miranda Chadkirk

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    In this week's online edition... rss edition

    Epistle from the 22nd Triennial of the Friends World Committee for Consultation
    Friends World Committee for Consultation
    News round-up
    A matter of trust
    Noël Staples
    Ruth Camm & Miranda Chadkirk
    Friends’ work in India and Pakistan 1946 to 1948
    John Hawkins
    A social revolution?
    Rowena Loverance
    Shaking the foundations in the 21st century
    Robin Waterston
    Have faith!
    Inez Hussey
    Living in the End Times?
    Laurie Michaelis

    Things to do, where to stay, people to see etc...

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