Daniel Nuzum's audioboos

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dunblane: joy and innocence of childhood

I am in Dunblane, Scotland as part of a writing group to prepare materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2012. Dunblane is a quiet and intimate 'city' which was thrust into the headlines so violently on 13 March 1996 when a gunman entered a local primary school and opened fire on a class of children in the gymnasium killing 16 children aged 5-6 and their teacher. A small city was numbed by such a violent and cruel act. Poignantly Mothering Sunday was that weekend as it is this weekend as well.
When I arrived at Dunblane yesterday I visited the cathedral and there filing out through the door of the cathedral were a large group of young children who were attending a school service. With that distinctive hum of children's voices hovering over the sounds of the city the children walked along the path through §the graveyard flanked by rows of daffodils whose yellow trumpets of hope reached to the spring sun providing a guard of honour for ones so young and full of innocence and joy. There are no words to capture the sense of pain that must have been in the air 15 years ago.
Inside the cathedral a memorial stone to the children and their teacher stands as a powerful reminder of that day. On one side is inscribed
there is 
 that will 
 the eye of 
it is pure 
it is 
the spirit 
a little 

Although the world has moved on, in many ways the name of Dunblane will always be associated with the massacre of these little children and their teacher. 15 years later on a sunny March morning amidst daffodils and the sounds of childrens voices, the reality of that day still whispers in the gentle breeze.
May we recapture the sense of innocence and joy that children have in abundance. They are a precious gift not just to their parents and families but to us all. As Mothering Sunday approaches this weekend we think of the mothers of those children for whom the day will ever be etched deeply within their soul and with the joy and unconditional love of children we thank God for all who mother and care for us...

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