Thoughts on a strange time
Elder’s letter July/August
The COVID 19 pandemic, and the international response to it, are likely to be considered as the
strangest time in many of our lives. The lockdown and associated rules are without doubt the most
all-encompassing, life changing regime that I have ever experienced. It is said that this pandemic is
the most important thing we have dealt with in peace time for generations.
As a member of the Fire Service, and a designated key worker, I’ve had a more active time perhaps
than most – with all the freedom and responsibility this brings. As such I would like to take this opportunity to share my most favourite parts of the last few weeks, alongside my least favourite.
Both have provided an intense learning curve!
I’ve enjoyed driving on roads so quiet that as I pass trees I can hear bird song above the diesel
engine in my little old car.
I’ve enjoyed shopping in the early morning to avoid the queuing - and catching the early sky, and the smells and sounds of the awakening day.
I’ve enjoyed people giving each other space in shops, and being aware of each other generally.
I’ve enjoyed exercising out of the gym – walks along the tow path feeding the ducks and watching the ducklings grow. I’m currently ploughing through a couple of kilos of oats a week, with defrosted sweetcorn and peas – bread is bad for them!
I’ve enjoyed saying hello to people as I pass – people exercising in new ways too – nice to see so
many bikes about.
I’ve enjoyed seeing people collect litter on the beach as lockdown lessened – just members of the public, taking a bin bag along when they go for their daily walk.
I’ve enjoyed messaging people in various ways, and the little checks that all is well.
I’ve enjoyed clapping for the NHS, and seeing neighbours I didn’t know I had.
I’ve enjoyed not needing to plan what to do over the weekend, because I know that apart from
walking my dog I’m doing nothing!
I’ve enjoyed realising that the number of things that are ‘essentials’ is way smaller than the
advertisements would have us believe – and just how many shopping trips I can in fact so easily do
And the other side of the coin……….., life would have been easier, if …….
People had bought bells for their newly acquired bikes….
People using the beach and the tow path took home their litter .…
People having illicit barbecues took better care not to set fire to the dry grassland around them….
Pigeons on the tow path did not quickly learn to recognise me and my oaty food bag on sight…..
People in shops did not cough without covering their mouths – always ignorant but at the moment just plain stupid….
People walking dogs for the first time in their lives gave some thought as to how they should
You may have noticed that the enjoyed list is somewhat longer than the irritated list – that’s mostly because as I write I’m in a warm relaxed mood – contemplating our lovely little Church and congregation. On another day the balance might have been in the other direction!
So – what of the word of God – at this time that our lives are overturned and we are not in our little Church like we should be?
A time to take stock, perhaps:
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is
pleasing to him and is perfect.
Not able to be together physically, but not alone:
For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above us nor
the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing in all creation – certainly not some wee little virus that has ideas above its station…….!