I begin with a series of photos, of my daily exercise throughout this lockdown period.
Going out for exercise has led me into finding areas close to home that are vibrant, full of beauty and reminders of Gods creativity.
Also trying to cope brings out the humour in me as I reflect on the next images. The first is the free toilet roll we were given by a local farm for buying over £30 pounds of their farm produce: quite how we’re going to use that much on top of what we already have I don’t know ! I reckon we’re ‘covered’ for the rest of the year.
The next picture is of the queue outside a local supermarket, where we’ve all become accustomed to social distancing, a term that most of us were unfamiliar with 8 weeks ago. These, while they make me smile, are both stark reminders of how lives, routines, thinking has changed for all of us quite dramatically.
As we celebrated the turning of the year into 2020 who could have envisaged such a turn around in lifestyles ?
Its also changed working patterns for everyone; working from home, returning to previous nursing professions, retraining in those all important key areas, becoming fruit pickers because of furloughed jobs, and so much more. In my profession, although classed as a key worker, I’ve had to work from home for most of the day, coming to terms with technology, delivering services online and via Facebook live. Zoom has become an integral part of my life as meetings have moved online. Last Thursday I attended a virtual 102 member meeting. Zoom staff meetings and even my Rotary Club had 20 attendees yesterday.
It’s beyond me as to how some are coping without this technology. It’s become the only way we see our youngsters now as every afternoon we meet the grandchildren. Piper has become au fait with video chatting and even with playing games with Grandma over the screen.
Returning to finding more time for reading, has led me into thinking which books I still need/want/reread/read. A great opportunity for refreshing my thinking as well as clear out ,
We’ve all become familiar with the Thursday ritual of clapping our support for the NHS and frontline workers (this is Burton hospital today) and we pray that we won’t forget the sacrifice too many have made.
So this is a little of how I’m coping, but what of tomorrow and the day after…… as the Government hint at beginning to lift some of the lockdown ? We get speculation of schools returning, sport resuming, of the over 70’s still being kept in lockdown for longer than any of us, BUT it still remains just that: speculation and until firm directions are given then we continue to journey in the unknown.
However I am reminded that 7 weeks ago yesterday was the last church service I took and it was in my home Church of Consett, the church where I came to faith, where Mum and Dad sat (in the same pew 😂) for all of their married lives and in Dads case where he gained so much comfort for the near 30 years of widowhood.
Why does that thought mean so much to me ? Because that morning I preached on Mark 6:1-13 “A prophet without Honour” but especially verses 8-13 where Jesus tells his disciples that in sending them out two by two they were only to take what they needed, no bag, no money, no bread and so on. God would provide. It’s not a simple, unrealistic instruction but one that reminds us God will give us our needs, not our wants.
A part of my prayer for this season is that people will take the opportunity to reappraise lifestyles, life choices; that we may take more time to enjoy the beauty of the world at a slower pace; that we may truly build communities again rather than a collection of houses never seeing each other. I pray that this will be a better ‘normal’ when life returns and a world closer to the normal God first created.
May God bless you, keep safe, stay at home if you can