Grumpy old man (?)

Rocking the lockdown look !
 The t-shirt says Grumpy and Alison and I had a great day earlier this week when we were able to go and visit the FoxCubs (our grandchildren who we love dearly). As most of you know we used to spend our weekly day off looking after them, but we have missed their exuberance, enthusiasm, Pipers constant impression of a whirlwind and Emetts snuggles.

Now that certain aspects of lockdown are beginning to life we felt able to go across to see them, take the cubs out for half the day and give Mum and Dad a rest. Mums working from home so she could work in peace and Dad cracked on with getting the garden sorted where he’s doing a great job.

We had a lovely, exciting and certainly tiring afternoon at the local playground known as Pirate Park. Why am I sharing this ? Simply because we, like so many others, feel a certain completeness when we are with other people. Yes, some are very happy with their own company but most of us need that occasional contact with folk around us; families, friends, even relative strangers. This is one of the reasons that Social Media has taken off so successfully. Facebook, Twitter, Tic-Toc all key into our need for connectedness. I agree that much of it is rubbish, but its rubbish that connects us. Those that we are closest to aren’t simply there for our deep intellectual, theological or philosophical thinking. Its not academia or our IQ that holds us close. In all of humanity more conversation is about the silly, ordinary things of life for they are what matters to us. It is, however, also a forum where bigger topics can be shared and views aired, but I find that these inevitably generate a lot of heat and sadly abuse.

So, what does our current Covid-19 situation show us for we should all be wanting to learn throughout our life ? Well, its reminded me of the need to be with people and for that I give thanks for platforms like Zoom, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Life has become so dependent upon electronic connection; its not the same as being ‘with’ someone, a hug, a kiss, a handshake, but it gives us the chance to see a face and be reminded we are as one. Even as I type this I’m listening to evening prayers by a friend of mine Revd. Sally Coleman who leads prayers and reflections every evening through Facebook. They’ve challenged me and led me through this, but its Sallys generosity that has created them.

Covid-19 has taught me about the beauty of the world as I’ve been able to have the time I don’t always have, to go our for a walk. Simple pleasures which remind me of Gods creativity………. seeing the colours of the flowers, feeling the gentle warmth of the rain, watching

the Burton swans in a variety of places, seeing the cygnets and loving the peace that they bring. I have been reminded of the God who, as Genesis reminds us, created this world around us but also created us as well to be a part of this beauty. I have been reminded of the God who has made me (and all of us) in his own image. AWESOME !

I have been reminded of the creativity of the good Methodism folk who are seeking new ways of being Church, and not only electronically. the creation of a possible theatre based church,  a missional platform based around allotments, the helpfulness of neighbours and the kindness of the stranger seem to have broken out all around the world. Alisons Church involving itself in feeding those who cannot make their own meals for whatever reason, and serving those without through the food bank. Sadly, overshadowed by the bad news of riots, selfishness on beaches, conspiracy theories surrounding the virus and who initiated it (!), but nevertheless our Christian faith reminds us that “God wins” and his will be done.

AND now we begin to explore going back to Church; we’re exploring the logistics of how this could happen, social distancing, hand sanitisers, masks, cleaning of the building before and after worship, the maximum numbers who could attend, and the denial of drinks afterwards. We’re walking a necessary minefield but my prayer in all of this is that we don’t lose sight of the important things that God has spoken to us about, and I pray that we continue to seek out new ways of being Church.

Oh, and one more thing that this period has given me; impatience with any desire to simply return to what we had before, endless, pointless meetings refusal to be risk takers for the one who came out of Heaven and took a huge risk for us, Through the lockdown I’m aware that I’ve become grumpier and grumpier but hopefully only because my love and desire to see the world through Gods eyes continues to increase.

Take care, pray for your leaders, and pray that I may continue to be grumpy for God !!

2 thoughts on “Grumpy old man (?)

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