This day has special significance in our family as we remember a saint who is one of my wife’s patron’s. While this is of great import to me I am not sure her parents, who were casual Presbyterians at best, had this result in mind when they named her. But, over the years I have come to treasure this connection as it calls to mind the ongoing eternal connection we have we with the past, present and future. Our time is not really “our” time, it is really God’s time and God’s time is eternal. We are but reflections of times past and times to be.
Clare gave up a worldly existence of privilege and wealth to serve. She served God in his purposes by giving herself as a bride to Christ. As his bride she ministered unfettered to his children who were mostly poor and oppressed. But in doing that she also ministered to the very rich and powerful (even the Trumps of the world) who despite their power in this life realized in their heart of hearts that real power comes from God and is not made on earth but found through his love and through obedience to him.
When I started to write this I had something very different in mind and the idea now seems very trite in comparison. But, to add a bit of levity to some very heavy ideas (certainly not mine but emanating from another source) I will recount my original thought:
As a tax lawyer I have been called upon to make presentations on various occasions upon some rather dry topics. On those occasions and near the end of the presentation I have looked out upon my audience and found many to be literally asleep. At that moment I felt a profound sense of empathy for my college and law school professors who must have daily found themselves in a similar situation. On one such occasion a speech delivered by the infamous Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of William Shakespeare’s plays, came to mind and I resolved after that to always include it as a conclusion to each paper I presented as a way of reminding me not to take myself too seriously. For those who may wonder, the Puck was a sort of mischievous elf who went about wreaking havoc in people’s lives just for fun. I actually got to play him in a college production of Midsummer Night’s Dream and found the part to fit “like a glove”: small guy causing trouble and all that. O.K. to the line, here goes;
If these shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumbere’d here
While these visons did appear.
And this week and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck ,
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long ;
Else the puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream , Act V, Scene II.
(I love the way the spell and grammar checker wants to correct Shakespeare’s prose)