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Viewpoint from Helen Farman 18/05/12

Helen Farman
Member of Light of Life Baptist Church, Ormesby
Dove rightAnyone who really knows me will have learned that I have a passion for ice cream. A perfect holiday includes an ice cream every day. But have you ever noticed that ‘passion’ can lead you to behave unthinkingly! One day, while I was decorating at my daughter’s upstairs maisonette, I heard the angelic tones of the ice cream van. My husband, knowing my passion, went off to purchase what I desired. I, however, could not wait for him to return, so I ran out after him. I heard the door bang behind me and I knew we were locked out. No key! How foolish do you feel when you have to ask a neighbour, whom you have never met, if he has a ladder and could he break back into the house for you? My passion for ice cream is purely selfish but passion, at its truest and deepest level, has nothing to do with self; it is an overwhelming concern for others. This passion can cause us to behave in ways we never considered possible
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Jane Haining was born in Dunscone, near Dumfries, Scotland. A committed Christian, she worked for ten years at a threadmaker’s in Paisley but, her life changed forever when she attended a meeting in Glasgow about the Church of Scotland’s Jewish Mission. She told a friend, ‘I have found my life –work’ – her passion
In 1932 Jane became Matron of the Church of Scotland’s Mission in Budapest. When the Second World War broke out, in 1939, Jane was on leave in Scotland but she was determined to return to Budapest and continue her work. As the situation deteriorated in Europe, the Church ordered its missionaries back to Scotland. Jane refused to obey; she felt the children needed her now more than ever. She said to a friend, ‘If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness?’
By 1944, the Nazis had invaded Budapest and the school’s Jewish children were in increasing danger. The order came that all Jewish children had to wear the yellow Star of David on their clothing. Jane wept bitterly as she sewed on the stars
Ultimately, Jane was denounced to the German authorities, deported along with some of the Jewish children to the death camp, Auschwitz. Her passion cost her, her life
In the Bible we read of Mary pouring expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus. She offered her greatest possession as a passionate response to the feelings of love and self-worth she had received from Jesus. This gift represented her life’s savings, her dowry, her future, her pension, her prospects!  Her passion led her to do what seemed totally irresponsible
Passion is unsafe; it can become fanatical and destructive, but it also has the power to change lives for the better
Jesus had a passion for people. He lived out love, grace, freedom and justice in a world that had lost sight of them. It cost him, his life
Martin Luther King once said ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter