St Martinhou, Funchal

For the first year in a long time I was away at the start of Lent. Having suffered at the end of last year with one of the horrid bugs I decided that a short break in the sun was what was needed.

And so I started a few days break in Madeira, to search for sunshine, warmth and rest.

So far, it has been perfect, a wonderful mixture of warm sun, walks along the coast path, coffee and ventures into the levadas, walks which follow small waterways along the  contours bringing water from the hills to where it is needed.

A break, a time in the hills, a kind of wilderness for me, although very civilised, and I am still contemplating on what I should give up for Lent!

So, as I started the five days break I decided  I would walk to the church on Sunday, what a good idea. Except that St Martinho is set on a very steep hill,  and although google maps said it was a 35 minute walk, that didn’t take into account how often I had to stop to get my breath. But it was in the stops that I sensed God with me in every step. The harder we struggle and the nearer we ‘get’ the harder it is!

Arriving at the church at 10.30am meant I could sit and listen to the choir practising. It meant I had time to just sit and be surrounded in God’s house on the hill.

So, maybe that is what I will do for Lent… I will spend more time listening and discovering my next steps, rather than rushing into things!

Rev’d Sue Martin