Farm to City and the Restoration from God.
The deputy mayor came with her gold chain, and enthusiasm, and full of questions, and finished watching the Shallowford film, with a cup of tea in one hand and a pork sandwich in the other.
The MP came and got her photo opportunity on the tractor.
Three schools came with open eyes and a sense of discovery. Three nurseries got a tour, and a couple of after school clubs, and a group of elderly with their zimmer frames sat entranced watching the sheep and calves. A refugee group came, and we let a trickle of families and visitors in.
In the evening there was a more studied group of supporters, funders, and potential friends.
The taxi driver stopped by, and said we should do it again in the summer!
A school teacher and a school governor visited and asked that their school be allowed on another occasion.
The supermarket maintenance man kept repeating this is b… good and gave me a kiss and a hug, and the eyes and smiles of countless passers by told the story.
The four young pigs appear quite content. In fact they may be enjoying a break from their strawed home at the farm.
It is a hard task finding an inspirational Bible verse about pigs. They usually fall into the negative ritualist symbol category, or there are one or two references to illustrate when things run into hard times. But then this is a serious project about making connections with oneself, with each other, with living creatures, with God as Creator. It is a serious comment on when things begin to disfunction socially, and into that context the work of Shallowford and Providence, indeed the work of the gospel seeks to make a difference.
So listen up:
‘Restore us, O God,
Make your face shine upon us that we may be saved.
You have fed us with the bread of tears.
You have broken down the walls, so that all who pass by take their pickings.
And the pigs… The wild pigs from the forest root and scavenge among the grounds, and wild creatures feed on the harvest.
Return to us, O God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Restore us, O Lord Almighty, make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.’