Tuesday, 13 September 2016

You Can't Really Say That, Though

It was the funeral of a member of the congregation a couple of days ago. I wrote a homily and said how what I would remember about Leonard was his gentlemanliness and impeccable manners, and how they reflected a determination to assume that everyone he met was a decent human being deserving of respect, which is what manners do. That was true enough, but I found myself thinking that what I would actually, truly remember more about him are his eyes looking at me when I went to visit him in the care home where he spent his last couple of years. Leonard looked at me with the same kind of gaze I find in some of my oldest parishioners: and they look at me the same way as children do, with the same sort of perspicacity. They've reached a sort of purification, and to be on the receiving end of it is a blessing. It would be nice to think that we might, given the right circumstances, regain that childlike gaze when we are very old. 

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