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Easter Surgery - Pause for Thought with Terry Wogan, BBC Radio 2

Tuesday 11th April 2006

The Archbishop talked about preparing for Easter and operations when he appeared in the 'Pause for Thought' slot on Terry Wogan's 'Wake Up to Wogan' Radio 2 show.

You know how sometimes you seem to be spending quite a bit of your time with people who are ill. The last few weeks have been like that for me, with two very old friends in hospital facing really serious surgery. And as it happens neither of them (they're both in their eighties)are not at all used to being ill, let alone in hospital. It's really difficult to let go, to let someone else take over.

But when you're dealing with surgery, of course you've got to. Someone else knows what to do; you've just got to depend on them. You don't really know what the matter is or how to cope with it, and you can't make yourself better by your own efforts. It's really not a good idea to try and do brain surgery on yourself.

As I get ready for Good Friday and Easter this year, I'm thinking a lot about these friends and I'm thinking as well how every year at Easter is a tiny bit like what they have to cope with. Good Friday and Easter, remembering the death and coming back to life of Jesus ,this is about what has to happen for the illnesses and cancers of my spirit to be healed. I don't know for myself exactly what's wrong but I know something is, in me and outside me. Someone else does a job for me that I can't completely understand, and I wake up with something having just happened. It's done by someone else, by the God who wants to heal me, inside and outside. I've got to depend on God. And sometimes it's as difficult as letting go in a hospital ward because we all like to be in control and it's tough when we can't be.

So I hope all the people listening in have a wonderful Easter, and remember for just a moment the big event that Christians believe happened at the first Easter: a successful bit of surgery, removing the miserable growths of selfishness and anxiety and resentment in us, even if we haven't yet quite woken up to what it all means.

Oh, and spare a moment, won't you, if you can, to say a prayer for those who have to face operations and those who find it hard to let go and learn to depend on the skills of others.

© Rowan Williams 2006

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