Written by The Rev Ian Cruikshank (Rector of Killane Union our neighbouring parishes)
I’m the revdian. How things have changed for me profoundly over the years and a section of one of readings for Sunday 21st July is key concerning that change. And here it is.
Part of the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae states this concerning Christ. Reading from the Message a Paraphrase of the bible.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
Years and years and even years ago when I started primary school I found it natural to hold my pencil with my right hand, but rather than having it positioned between my thumb and index finger, I held it between my index finger and middle finger. No problem then, except that my teacher felt compelled to correct my error by hitting the back of my hand with a wooden ruler and press her knuckles into my back. This was only done when she saw me in error which unfortunately was several times each day, as I found it natural to hold my pencil my way, a different way from my teachers and apparently it seemed the rest of the planet. It was only with hindsight years later that I realised this was possibly the cause of a most horrendous stammer that I had developed. Hard sounds caused the main problem letters such as C, K, P, T, Q, but once in the zone I could have difficultly was almost any word. So today you may have heard “Good morning I’m the reverend Ian From Killanne Union of Parishes hear in County Wexford.
Life was extremely challenging, that’s being diplomatic it was hell. Give someone with a speech impediment the last name Cruickshank and see what happens. Better still place him in a street called Cairnfield Place and ask him to phone for a taxi. The basic and most commonly requested forms of information you could ask anyone is their name and address, and I was well snookered with both.
In School we learnt our reading and spelling by saying it publicly in class, so because of my experiences I developed a difficulty with books and education generally. Time goes on and in my mid-twenties I came across the passage I read earlier and especially this part ‘ but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
I realised that I hadn’t been created with a stammer, but it was the result of bad circumstances, and I looked to God to fix this broken part of me. I had already developed a personal faith, reading, and learning had become an important part of my life, but now I became more able to do what I really wanted to do. The ability to be a mouthpiece, verbally communicating God’s love, peace, mercy, grace and hope to all who was interested. I have engaged in third level education and continue to learn. I spend my time every day in circumstances where one of my main functions is to speak on a one to one, but also to crowds of people. So be encouraged, look for the reality of the broken and dislocated pieces getting properly fixed and fitting together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. I am overjoyed to be able to do the simplest of things that most take for granted, to say my name, Ian Cruickshank. If you can look up a song by Hillsongs called Broken Vessels. Blessings and Amen