Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Feeding One Another

Jesus commanded Peter to “feed my sheep” at the end of John’s Gospel. I think many focus on Peter feeling hurt Jesus asked that question three times.  I  think of it as a “cancelling out” of Peter’s threefold denial. 

I wonder about the walk along the seashore where Jesus challenges Peter to focus on his walk with God, rather than worry about the disciple behind them.  Worrying about what other Christians are doing means not paying attention to what God wants us to do!

Walking along the seashore.  Image via Pixabay.
I find the “do not worry” command the hardest to obey and suspect this is true for most of us.  This is why one of my favourite Bible verses comes from Hebrews.  “For we do not have a high priest unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.

It is a great comfort to know we are all in the same boat, needing that mercy and grace.

Someone here is listing their troubles.  Image via Pixabay.

One thing I love about the writing world is its strong sense of community.  I’ve recently returned from the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School and caught up with old friends, made new ones, and learned so much from the workshops. I also picked up useful advice talking at meal times with fellow writers, which is a nice way to learn.

A view of part of the grounds at Swanwick.  Image taken by Allison Symes.

 The “white badgers” (those coming to the school for the first time, as I did last year) were made welcome with their own reception, given the guided tour and what could be done to break them in gently was done!

Throughout the week, the fellowship between writers never wavered, whether it was sharing thoughts on courses or discussing works in progress.  People were keen to share and you never know when what you discover this way will benefit you. But it is the sense of helping one another, no matter how far along you are on the writing road (or otherwise), that helps make Swanwick special.

The road ahead is not always clear.  Image via Pixabay.

Helping one another on our spiritual road is something we can all do.  I’ve found, as I am sure you will have done, just knowing someone is praying for you when life has thrown the proverbial spanner in the works comforting and enhancing.  It can and does make the difference between coping with a situation or not. 

We all have our life experiences, which may be used by God to help you to help someone else.  It is a question of being open to that possibility. Sometimes the best help of all for someone is knowing others have been through the same or similar experiences and a word of encouragement is what is needed.

We need to feed one another so let us use encouragement as a great place on the “menu” to start!



  1. Enjoyed this, Alison. Encouragement id so necessary for all of us, whether as writers or simply in our daily lives!

  2. Would love to go to this. Thanks for the share, Allison.

  3. Encouragement is the theme of our family service on Sunday. It's so vital to us all.

  4. I have always loved the nickname for Barnabas - "the son of encouragement". Great nickname to have!