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A Mere Breath
Psalm 144

Some years ago I did a little bit of research into tracing my ancestors. These were pre-Internet days, and the research involved poring over ancient volumes in the repository of such records in London. Sometimes I would discover another “John Goldingay” from more than a century ago. Sometimes I would be reading the marriage certificate of an ancestor who could not write but could only put an X, and it made me reflect on how privileged I have been to have grown up when and where I did, when someone from an ordinary background could have as much opportunity of education as someone from a well-to-do background. Sometimes I would be surprised to find an ancestor in the nineteenth century who lived on into his or her nineties, for most people did not live as long in those days as we may expect to nowadays...

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