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March of the Penguins

At Wilsden Trinity, our Soupermums Group has celebrated its third Christmas and we are bursting at the seams. It seems incredible, but only just over two years ago we were sitting in our side room, soup ready, bread warming in the oven, baby blankets on the floor, eagerly awaiting our first ‘’customers’’ and none came. This situation continued for some weeks and we were beginning to wonder if we had got the message right. Was this really what the Lord wanted us to do? I suppose Noah must have felt very much like that when he built the Ark on dry land. Now our numbers are regularly in the high twenties or low thirties. You have no idea how much noise 33 crying babies and chatting mums can make. Another experience Noah might have identified with!

We have settled into a pattern: Official start 11.00 am. Tea or coffee on arrival, time to chat and then soup from about noon, ending with an action song ‘Our God is a Great Big God’ which we now understand is top of the Baby Hit Parade. We volunteers look after the babies whilst the mums enjoy a peaceful lunch. A bit of a challenge with so many but we love and treasure every mum and every baby. The amazing thing is that each mother recognises her own infant’s cry and responds by crossing the room to comfort.

This always reminds me of the film ‘’The March of the Penguins’’ which follows the journey of Emperor penguins to their breeding grounds. The female penguin lays a single egg which she carefully transfers to the male who then huddles together with thousands of other male penguins keeping the egg safe and warm on his feet under his body. The female then travels many miles to the sea to feed and bring food back for the hatching chick. When she returns, she finds her chick and her mate amongst the thousands of penguins by singing her own unique song, to which the chick replies with its own unique song and in this way they are reunited. This is like the unique song which God sings to each of us and requires a response from us which is also uniquely ours. Someone once said – each of us has a verse to sing in the song of the universe and if we don’t sing it, it will remain unsung.

Di H, Wilsden Trinity


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