The Meenister’s Log
There’s a lovely prayer: “journeying mercies” – it was used by Trinidadians to wish someone a safe journey – like “Godspeed”.
I was often asked to bless new cars when I lived in Trinidad. Rather than doing this exactly to the letter, I tended to ask a blessing upon the driver instead: that he/she would be safe behind the wheel, that they would be careful and courteous drivers…. and that indeed they would always have journeying mercies.
Obviously, the Almighty turned a bit of a deaf ear to these intercessions, as the Trinis drive like Lewis Hamilton on speed (sic), totally ignoring all rules of the road.
(Which brings me to my dear wife, the wonderfully named Ramraj Parmararsingh (whom I noticed from the Trinidad Guardian died in January of this year – 2012), and the church car.
Mr Singh was a driving instructor, but, having been offered a very good price for his car – the tool of his trade – he sold it… only to discover that there was a three month waiting list to get a new one.
So, with permission and appropriate insurance – and “journeying mercies” of course, they set off on their first lesson
Helen appeared back at our house in about half and hour and very calmly announced that the car was a near write-off; she’d crashed it into a wall.
Luckily, no one was injured – but neither Mr Singh nor myself had any transport for the next couple of months).
Anyhow, there’s a lovely little church in Trinidad at a place called Arouca. One felt blessed to get there in one piece, having negotiated fifteen miles of the Churchill- Roosevelt Highway from Port of Spain. Heidbangers to the left,; heidbangers to the right – what highway code? Overtake on whichever sided gives you the opportunity to put the foot down.
Maybe my prayers did work, as they all thought that they were protected by the Almighty!)
Arouca’s church was only two years old when I arrived on the Island. It had been a labour of love to build a replacement for an older structure which had long been demolished (by one of my “blessed” drivers?)
The little congregation was rightly proud of its achievement, and set about with manic zeal to improve the amenities of their bloved place of worship.
It seemed to be every second week that I was asked to be blessing or dedicating a new organ, a P.A.system, even a tarmac car park (look out! here’s another driver roaring into the car park at 70 miles an hour!)
But the best was yet to come – the blessing of the BELL
And that story will appear in the next post on