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Viewpoint from Rev Peter Glanville 11/09/2015 

PETER GLANVILLE webReverend Peter Glanville
Chaplain at the James Paget University Hospital


“OMG” – “I don’t believe it!!”

If you’re the same age as me – and I’m not telling – then you might not be familiar with the texting abbreviation at the start of that sentence

Texting has its own language for more than one reason. Firstly, to save space on messages and, secondly, time in compiling them. They are often self explanatory but can trip you up with more than one meaning. David Cameron fell prey to this when a text message of his was read out in the Rebecca Brookes’ trial. His pay off line “LOL” he assumed to mean “lots of love”. He failed to know the more common meaning - “Laugh out loud!” – result: a raucous reaction in court!

dove leftBut OMG need a little more investigation. “O my goodness”, perhaps? Or what about “O my gosh”?  But let’s not beat about the bush – it normally means –“O my G*d”

So why the asterisk?   Am I going backwards in a fear of blasphemy? Am I being supersensitive with a personal, “religious correctness”?  Come on- it is the twenty-first century. A walk around town or a short bus ride quickly educates us in the basics of Anglo Saxon vocabulary or a beginner’s guide to anatomy and physiology

But it’s not just the use of the name of God that causes my reaction. It is the profession of total disbelief that normally accompanies it. This wakens sadness in my day. Yes I know the OMG text composer is probably only reacting to the amazing story of a skate boarding duck, just seen on You Tube.  Indeed with the manipulated, marketed desires for material things; the compounded, mob-like errors of unchallenged social media; plus an absence of time to think, enjoy and share; is it any wonder that a belief in the intangible seems so rare?

Dove rightI work with an amazing team of colleagues in the Chaplaincy at the James Paget University Hospital. There we encounter honest hopes, dreams, fears and confidences, unshared in the material world

Our Prayer Board carries hundreds of written cards each year. These express every human emotion with an unbelievable frankness and honesty. They are shared at Hospital Services, at prayer groups and by all who care to read them. Here is belief beyond previous belief. Hope beyond previous hope; and every human emotion – even thanks and gratitude

If you get a chance, pop into the Chapel, read them, and experience a little of the “super”natural
“OMG – we really can believe it!”