At weekends, I sometimes go upstairs in the morning to join my owner and his wife for a lie-in in bed. However, one strict rule applies. I am not allowed to walk over their precious patchwork quilt. Many years ago, my owner gave this to his wife as a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s made up of a large number of patchwork “hearts” which together, create a very striking effect.
As we all go through life, I often think that we build up our own “patchwork quilts” of kindness. And this works in two ways. First, there are those acts of kindness which we are lucky enough to receive from others. Those meaningful smiles; help when we most need it; the stabilising arm when we are wobbling; the hugs when we need a lift; those words of encouragement when we most need to hear them…
And then there are the “patchwork quilts” which we ourselves create as we share out acts of kindness as we go through life. On many occasions these acts are very small, and quickly forgotten. But collectively, they can build up into something very large and very wonderful.
Kindness is a part of love. It costs nothing, but it can result in something incredibly beautiful. And our own unique quilts become a lasting legacy of what we did during our lives, and of the kindness of others around us.
The Bible talks a lot about kindness. It’s a word very much associated with Jesus, and with the story of “The Good Samaritan.” (Luke 10:25-37). And after being shipwrecked at sea, and getting safely ashore on the island of Malta, Paul tells us that:
“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” (Acts 28:2)
I wonder whether today, we will add to somebody else’s patchwork quilt, or receive a new patch on ours?
About my book:
“The Random Thoughts of a Christian Parrot” is published in hardback, 176 pages in length, full colour throughout and featuring more than 100 photographs. The ISBN is 978-1-5272-9810-1 and copies cost £12.00. The book includes a Foreword written by the Bishop of Crediton plus a total of 83 reflections which can serve as your “parrot thought of the day.”
Copies are available from Amazon, some bookshops or direct from me! If ordering direct, please enclose a cheque for £12.00 made out to the “Oakmoor Group of Parishes” and send it to: Coco the Parrot, Parkstone, George Nympton Village, EX36 4JE, U.K. Postage and packing is free!
100% of proceeds will go towards funding the work of local North Devon parishes, and particularly a new Outdoor Church initiative located on the edge of Exmoor. My book will make a great Christmas present for friends and family!
This is what others have to say about my book:
“I grant you, a book by a feathered friend is novel, but with this parrot, faith finds its wings. It is intelligent, kind and spiritually perceptive – more than can be said for some religious functionaries. I wonder if dog collars come in parrot sizes?”
(Dave Tomlinson: Priest, author and broadcaster)
“The mix of humour, challenge, biblical text and photography along with the views of our perceptive parrot, make this book a unique reflection on our twenty-first century lives.”
(Right Reverend Jackie Searle: Bishop of Crediton)
“Sometimes human wisdom just isn’t enough. Standing or flying outside our messy, confusing, but glorious lives, Coco the parrot helps us to look afresh at the things that really matter and the ways we can re-connect with God’s love – so that we too can soar!”
(Giles King-Smith: Acting Archdeacon of Barnstaple)