Have you seen the Structures on the Edge on the Lincolnshire coast? Dave and I have only recently come across them, and we were fascinated. Because they are very unusual works of art/architecture, they will trigger some strong opinions – as you stand on our shoreline seeing their rather weird outlines against the seascape, you’ll probably be quite excited about them, or maybe you’ll hate them. They are meant to help us take a whole fresh look at our coastline, and “see” it in a new way, stopping to gaze on its natural beauty.
Personally I really like looking at their outlines, etched against the open skies, helping us to take a fresh view of our familiar coast – there’s something very special about taking time to look at the place where sea and land meet – the seawater and its wildlife, the sand dunes and mudflats, each with a different spectrum of creatures and plants – contrasting environments coming together in sight and sound of the ever-moving waves and wind. This world on the edge feels wonderfully alive, not as predictable as being in the middle of a more settled and still environment.
I’ve always been attracted to the margins, where different people and things meet, and where there is change and new experiences to encounter. This fits well with how I think of Jesus Christ, who refused to be boxed in by other people’s narrow social norms, and kept going to the edges of the society he lived in, to “untouchable” people, shunned and isolated by most, and to places where respectable individuals were not supposed to go to. It was on the edges where he found people who really needed his healing touch and the acceptance and love which he offered to everyone who turned to him. Marginalised and isolated people and places seemed to capture Jesus’ attention – what most people didn’t stop to notice, he stopped for, seeing clearly the overlooked beauty. I believe his mission to the edges is continuing through you and me if we’re willing.
Revd Veronica Podbury, Pastor of The Vine Community Church