As we planned to leave North Shields I looked at the chart and noticed ‘Wee Bankie’. Now this area of shallower water is not so shallow that it presents any immediate danger to our yacht. Indeed in our journey south it is actually in the wrong direction. The reason it made me reflect and struck me so strongly is probably best summed by a verse from 1 Peter.
“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”
You see on most days the area around ‘Wee Bankie’ is just a patch of sea seen from the surface. Ships will go about their day to day affairs without giving it much thought. When the weather changes then areas such as this are prone to cause faster moving water to rise up. So in a storm what was a flat calm bland area of sea can suddenly create over falls and huge tumbling waves. Thus the seafarer crossing ‘Wee Bankie’ on a summers day might well decide to take longer and avoid it all together when the weather is turning towards a storm. Yet it sits there not seeming to offer much threat.
To me that resonates with today’s society, the thing we are venturing out to ask questions of. I see the ‘Wee Bankie’ as being the recent decision by our supreme court to allow the starving to death of people in a persistent vegetive state without needing the court of protection. The rights of the individual not on a life support machine have been removed. Even if they are there thinking they want to live they can be killed. And the arguments to allow that have been very persuasive indeed but that does not make them right. I see the ‘Wee Bankie’ as being the tattooed drunken behaviour and its causes, the reasons behind the explosion of knife crime and a million other things that are affecting todays society. To me the very fabric of our national identity is under attack and on the whole the average person on the street has very little awareness, interest or ability to defend it. It is here that the sedition of faith offers hope. By standing up and opposing the shifting sands that affect the foundation of our society we can all stop the ‘Wee Bankies’ from coming into being. Rather than being sand bagged we can use sand bags to create a social and moral defence and create a United Kingdom that folk aspire to be part of. Not due to its lax drinking laws and drunken behaviour but due to it genuinely creating an environment that fosters love and contented living. It is here that Christianity has a lot to offer, in opposition to the formation of ‘Wee Bankies’.