Expect the Unexpected 


A long time ago I used to enjoy practising the ancient Japanese martial art of Ju Jitsu. It was quite “full on” and we used to have a running joke which was that we should always “expect the unexpected”. Some of you will be old enough to remember the “Pink Panther” films, in which the wonderfully funny Peter Sellers starred as the hapless Inspector Clouseau.
Clouseau, in a bid to keep his reactions sharp, gave a standing order to his Chinese manservant, Cato (played brilliantly by Bert Kwouk), to attack him at any time. This led to some absolutely hilarious scenes, which made full use of slow-motion camerawork as well as Seller’s and Kwouk’s comedic genius. My particular favourite was the one where Clouseau opens the fridge only to have Cato leap out and start strangling him!
Recently I received a warm and wonderful email from my friend Bob, who wrote about the unexpected circumstances of life – meeting his lovely wife Jilly was unexpected; being diagnosed with cancer was unexpected; being covered with prayer from friends all over world was unexpected…
So many things in life are unexpected and we don’t have God’s perspective on it all, even less so when we’re in the thick of things!
Bob’s email was warm and wonderful and, praise God, he tells me by phone today he’s continuing to be very much on the mend. It was so good to chat and laugh - can I encourage you to use any means at your disposal to stay in touch with people you know who would value an encouraging word? One of the greatest blessings in life is friendship – how valuable, how worthwhile a use of time it is to let someone know you are thinking of them, that you value them and that you are holding them in your prayers.
This week I’ve been in touch with Healthcare Bracknell Forest, a council-run group acting as a hub for the local community to provide help for those in need of things like food and medical items. Please would you let me know if you are in need or if you would like to be added to the list of volunteers willing to help?
Here is an unexpected chance to build community, to build friendship and to bring Jesus, the light of the world to people. You can email me on simon.lace@ebc-bracknell.org or phone me (office hours if you can please) on 07928 829396.
For the time being, the church building is closed, and just a skeleton staff are there infrequently to do the essentials that can’t be done remotely. That means we won’t always be there to handle calls, so if you can’t reach us please use officestaff@ebc-bracknell.org or for urgent help or to volunteer, call me on the church mobile number above.
These are unexpected times and we should “expect the unexpected” in the days and weeks ahead! Let’s do our very best to stay in touch and look out for each other and pray for each other. If you’re on social media, use it to encourage people. Write to people, Skype people, Facebook people. Let’s make the messages positive, encouraging, uplifting – an unexpected “virtual hug” rather than an unexpected attack from inside the fridge!
I hear the birds chirruping outside as I write – another blessing!
With love and prayers,

Simon Lace, 25/03/2020