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  • Rev. Caroline

Fighting on the beach

On a sunny July afternoon, what better thing is there to do than go for a walk? Time to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, God’s beautiful world, perhaps the company of a friend or family member, or a chance meeting with folk you haven’t seen since the lockdown was imposed.

On and around Broughty Ferry beach, many people were doing just that; some had dogs in tow, others had children in buggies or on bikes.


There were adults cyclists too -93 had passed according to the electronic counter.


And even a few people out on the river in sailing boats.


While some walked, cycled or ran, others were stationary, enjoying the world around them.

Into this idyllic scene, a commotion suddenly broke out.




In the photo on the right you will see a gull in flight. It was actually one of a group of three or, should I say, gang of three.


For these gulls, breaching the peace with their loud screaming, zoomed in like feathered missiles to attack a heron, which was simply minding its own business at the shore’s edge.

The conflict continued for several minutes: some people stopped to watch but others were oblivious to the heron’s plight.

All credit to the heron for it was not cowed by these huge birds dive-bombing it. Each time they approached, it stretched its long neck upwards and deployed its beak to try and snap its attackers.

It would be difficult to say who triumphed in the end. Two of the gulls eventually lost interest, the heron moved away from the shore’s edge and the third gull went back to flying over the river.

One of the consequences of the lockdown has been an increase in domestic violence. Like the fight played out on the beach, this will have gone unnoticed by a great many people in the vicinity of it, for they are engrossed in their own concerns, as opposed to minding their own business.

We can only hope that abusers will give up their aggression as the seagulls did, and that the one being abused will stand firm like the heron, but we know this won’t always be the case.

Lord God

You are our loving Father

– how sad you must be when we fail to show that love to one another

You are our Saviour

- how sad you must be when we do not try to save others from harm

You are the Spirit of power

- and so we pray that the balance of power might be restored between abuser and the one being abused, through the efforts of the staff and volunteers of support agencies, for your love’s sake

Amen

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