Church of England Diocese of Chester Wrenbury

Debbie Rowland's writes

12 May 2020, 7 p.m.

<span style="font-size: 1rem;">Have a look at the Wrenbury School website. There’s a posting with a rainbow and a link to a you-tube clip. It is a montage put together by parents with the children putting together a message of thanks to all the staff, using their drawings and paintings. It might sound daft but I burst into tears, not just a little leak from the corner of my eye, but real sobbing. It sort of unblocked a lot of pent up ‘holding it togetherness’ I suppose. It was most definitely cathartic and really heart warming to see. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the children love their teachers. I know that the parents think we are doing a good job and appreciate everything we do for them and their children. And children and parents often say so. But somehow, that effort to put that message together and send it to school means so very much.</span>

It made me think about one of the things we are missing at the moment. That is connection between each other which texts, emails, zoom, skype, WhatsApp, phone calls and goodness knows what else, can’t replace. That human connection, being close to people, whether we like hugs or not, there is so much more to interaction with each other than just the words. We all know our friends and loved ones care and miss us ....we’re missing the opportunity to show it personally, individually.

We will get all this back eventually, even if life will look a bit different going forward.

But then I thought about our connection with God. And I wondered if sometimes he feels like I did. He knows I love him, I tell him often enough! He knows I appreciate all the care I have from his goodness, again I tell him often enough. I tell him in the words of our worship, in the hymns and songs I sing, in my private prayers and prayers in church. But what about finding a way to tell him, show him my love outside of what he might expect from my usual routine - like those parents did with their lovely, unexpected message. Putting themselves out, making an extra effort?

And I think that ‘putting myself out’, and ‘making an extra effort’ might hold the key. We do it in Lent and perhaps in Advent. We can do it by setting aside an extra slot of our time to focus on God. There are not a lot of opportunities being arranged for us in terms of courses and retreats organised by others at the moment but here are a few suggestions:

Choose a verse or passage which means something special and during a walk think about it and what it tells us about God. Then reflect that thought back to God as thanksgiving and praise.

Sit in the garden taking in the sounds of the birds and the breeze. Tell God what this means to us and thank him for his wonderful gifts of nature, and everything else he provides.

Use an object to focus on, like a candle , and reflect on Jesus as the light of the world. Use a flower or a picture to guide other focus for reflection.

Listen to a piece of music, or a favourite hymn and let it still our hearts to think about God. Let it help us form the words to tell God what he is worth to us, as we worship him.