What can we learn so far from the Lock down?
What surreal (and for some tragic and
anxious) times we are living through. Mercifully, in Madeley and Betley we have
been spared some of the worst aspects of the virus but of course our thought
and prayers are with the bereaved, the traumatised and the front-line staff.
For many of us we have had to adopt
new behaviours and observe important protocols and perhaps we are getting used
to life in Lock down? There has never been a time like this in living memory
and we may well feel overwhelmed.
However, and believing in the
resurrection, there is new life ahead of us and we must look for the positives
and think about lessons we can all learn.
So, amidst the all the difficulties
and uncertainties, what has been good?
A greater sense of community – people
volunteering to help with the NHS and local helplines, increased
neighbourliness and a heightened awareness of the vulnerable down our streets.
It has been impressive to see many younger people step up and put themselves
out for others – at the Food bank, collecting prescriptions and running
errands. Thank you and well done.
New ways of being church and good
organisations – the church buildings are closed but God’s people are finding new ways
to worship together and to keep in touch with those on their own. Zoom
Services, on-line prayer meetings, pastoral visits via video link and a
resurgence of the good old rag and bone (phone). It’s not the same and we greatly look forward
to being together again but we have learnt some new skills and been challenged
to find new ways of keeping in touch.
The importance of exercise and
greeting friends whilst on the move and at a “safe” distance. Thank
God that we live in beautiful villages with green spaces to walk and take our
dogs out. The weather has been really kind and stunningly beautiful – perhaps
something we’ve noticed more under these circumstances – I love the Cherry Tree
blossom , the buds on the trees, the freshly ploughed fields.
Not to take people for granted – Our NHS
staff have rightly been heralded for their courage and commitment. But there
are other frontline staff who don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
The staff of Care Homes, our Refuge Collectors, those who serve us in retail,
both in our shops and in supplying our bodily needs all deserve our respect and
our appreciation of their service. It is very easy to take each other for
granted but we shouldn’t. Noticing the commitment and service of others when we
are the beneficiaries should be part of our everyday mini celebrations.
… Now, none of this is to ignore
the deep-seated anxieties that are very real for many of us as we face the
consequences for our economy and personal prospects. The future will
bring further challenges, struggles and needs. Pulling together and practising
consistent generosity of attitude and behaviour will be vital as we adapt and
change again. We may well have to adjust our sights and lower our expectations
– not forgetting that we still have so much to be grateful for.
I believe profoundly that God remains
in the midst of us, wanting to sustain, inspire, resource and equip us
for the future that lies ahead. The Bible tells us that He does not leave us
abandoned but equips us with His Spirit to rise to the challenge that lie
around the corner.
May you know God’s wisdom, peace and strength as you journey on. And may God bless and keep you in His good care.
For Online Parish Magazine for May click here