When author Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a pig farmer in Guernsey it gives her an idea for a new book. He is a member of the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and she would really like to find out more. When she arrives on the island she begin to learn more about the folks there and their war time experiences in occupied Guernsey. Their life in the second world war was not at all easy, but this reading club and the sharing of stories brought humanity and fellowship back into their lives. They invite Juliet to share some thoughts from her writings about Ann Bronte.
Juliet finds herself staying with a rather severe landlady, Charlotte Stimple, who uses the Bible a little like a weapon. Juliet challenges her behaviour one day, saying, ‘This (the Bible) is a book full of love, but you only see meanness and judgement.’ The Bible is chock full of stories about people and their daily lives; their faith, struggles, doubts, hope, adventures, poems, prayers and promises. There are thrills, tears, laughter, complaints and cries of deep longing. Their stories are not unlike ours. We read their tales and their experiences of God at work in the extraordinary and the everyday, and we are invited to find ourselves, to look in this mirror and see what is reflected back.
Jesus loved stories, and rather like the Potato Peel Society, found in them a means of drawing folks together and drawing them towards humanity and fellowship. His stories created conversation and questions, they gave folks room to manoeuvre and discover. What he didn’t do was use the words of God to demean or diminish others, but rather to free them and lift them up. He offered fresh starts and new beginnings.