Dear Family of St John’s

When one of my sons was in Grade 4, we received a call from his class teacher to come in for a meeting.  If you’ve had children, you know this isn’t a phone call you want to receive.   We couldn’t begin to imagine what the problem was.  He was well behaved, achieving academically, seemed to be well-adjusted socially.  In the meeting we were told that we should send him for speech therapy.  My husband and I both had equally shocked expressions at that statement.  We thought that his vocabulary and speaking ability was fine (to be honest, I thought my son was brilliant, still do, but he tells me I’m biased!)  His teacher proceeded to tell us that he was, as we knew, doing really well.  But, there was a handful of words that he just didn’t pronounce correctly and this concerned her. For example, he said ‘zizzors’ instead of scissors, and ‘bizghetti’ instead of spaghetti. At this point Craig and I exchanged sheepish glances and packed out laughing. As a toddler, first learning to speak, our son had struggled with the pronunciation of these words.  We thought his version so cute we adopted the language.  Our whole family spoke about having ‘bizghetti blow-your-nose’ for dinner.  We all said ‘zizzors’.  It was normal in our household.  So, we reassured his teacher that we would teach him the correct pronunciation.  He still brings this up from time to time, reminding me that I failed in his education and upbringing.  This is an example that is added to his list of complaints, along with never teaching him to use a knife properly (see the newsletter article ‘Eat the Orange!’ from 2nd July 2022).  And yet, we all still use these words at home!The topic of spaghetti recently came up in conversation at the office.  This spaghetti is not of the pasta variety.  One of our staff members refers to the tangle of wires, extension leads, network cables and telephone cords under her desk as spaghetti.  It’s a good description!  I’m sure many of us have that tangle too. She wanted to tidy it up and sort it out.  Some of the equipment that these wires used to be connected to was no longer in use.  But, what do you unplug and how do you start the process of detangling? Isn’t life a little like that? The various aspects of our lives are intertwined and tangled up like a pot of spaghetti.  The tangle is everything that makes up who we are.  Our job, our family, our friends.  But, more than that it’s our past experiences, our memories, hurts, failures, triumphs and joys that span all our years.  Some of that is good, some of it not so good.  How do we begin to detangle? Have you ever tried to extract a single spaghetto (yes, that’s a word!) from a pot of spaghetti that’s been sitting for a while and become slightly congealed, all stuck together?  It can be done, but you need to do so carefully.  You need to add a little lubrication… perhaps a beautifully fragrant marinara sauce, or toss in dollops of basil pesto, or even a glug or two of olive oil.  Then gently work that through the tangle of pasta.  Soon you’ll find that you can easily pull out one spaghetto at a time. What’s my point, you might ask, other than tempting everyone to make pasta for dinner? Well, we all have elements that are tangled up in our life that we no longer use or need.  It could be that, like my family adopting the word ‘bizghetti’, we have become so used to the parts that are wrong that we no longer notice them.  We need someone to point them out to us.  This could be bad habits we’ve picked up, areas where we are not living as we know we should.  Maybe it’s past hurts that we haven’t really acknowledged and dealt with that are still affecting our life. We need to identify what strand of spaghetto needs to be removed, and gently start the detangling process. Jesus doesn’t talk about spaghetti, or even ‘bizghetti’, but He does tell us what our life should be like.  It should be founded in Him, it should be about love. So, what strand of spaghetto in your life isn’t about love? Love for God, for yourself, for your neighbour? What strand of spaghetto is affecting your ability to fully commit to God, to serving Him and loving His people? That’s the strand you need to stand detangling. Remember, this detangling needs to happen carefully and gently.  God is the guide here – He shows us the way.  It’s not always easy, it does take patience.  But, with His guidance, may your pot of bizghetti be one that reflects the love of God.  With loveYour friend and rector,Claire