As a family we were appalled as news came in of the atrocity that took place in Manchester on Monday night. Although acts of terror should never cease to shock us, when events take place so close to home they can suddenly seem all the more horrific. As news footage came in, we soon realised that parents were waiting for their children on the very steps where we have stood and waited for our children after nights out at the arena. We of course were reunited with Sam and Sian. Tragically, some of these parents would never hold their children again.
If the truth is told, although we are very settled in South Oxfordshire, I still consider Manchester to be my city! However, as I write these words I am struck by an overwhelming thought. That is, I realise that God considers Manchester to be his city. Not for one minute would I suggest that God prefers Manchester to other cities, nor has a particular penchant for all things Northern. Rather, having spent much of my life in and around Greater Manchester, I am simply aware of the grace, mercy and faithfulness that he has revealed to the city over many years. Furthermore, I am accutley aware of the way that he wants to bless it in the future.
Let us Praise God then, that wherever we come from we can join with the Psalmist and say ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it’ (Psalm 24:1)
Yours and His
Gareth from Manchester!