Between Heaven and Charing Cross by Martin Warner

By Martin Warner

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Placing into the hands of this woman the body of Jesus was an extraordinary experience. It was as though one were consciously giving her the body of another son whose life would be taken from 26 Between Heaven and Charing Cross him by cruel circumstance, but at the same time it was a son whose life would be restored in the glory of resurrection. This resurrection life would be the sign of a new creation into which baptism already admits us, even while we live out our time in this old and mortal life.

His head sinks in heavy depression over that table at which he sits, surrounded by friends and colleagues. The hand that Jesus extends towards Matthew is in exactly the same poise as that extended towards Lazarus. Here the artist has caught exactly the mood of Luke’s comment about raising your head, and applied it to a scene of vocation in which the hand of Jesus extends a re-creative power that is not physical, as in the resurrection of Lazarus, but psychological. It is not therapy that Matthew needs, but purpose and new vision.

It is also characteristic of us as adults that we can identify with children as though they were our other selves, the small, vulnerable people that we still are within. 6 If children can become a commodity, a love object to be indulged or exploited for the love we expect from them in return, then it is almost certain that we are making a serious statement about the status and impoverished quality of our own lives. Relationships are then sought for the sake of what they can do for me and not for their own sake as a statement of mutual enrichment.

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