Last week I was privileged to attend the unveiling of a memorial stone at Wessex Vale Crematorium, a memorial to remember and recognise the lives and efforts of all affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We were invited to think about all those who had died, been ill, grieved the loss of a loved one and also to recognise the incredible efforts of those who had continued to work and serve in challenging conditions throughout, such as hospital staff, delivery drivers, funeral directors, bin collectors and many, many more. We were then encouraged to reflect on our own losses and what had been difficult for us and I brought back to mind the pain of not being able to see my adult children for long periods of time and of not being able to help my mother move into a care home in Scotland when the border was closed. We have all suffered so much loss over the last 16 months and are still living with the impact of this dreadful disease. As we reflected, we were then encouraged to think about the things that we had appreciated – communities coming together to look after each other; acts of kindness that came unexpectedly; time to enjoy the beauty of nature.
I wonder what we have learned about our values over these strange times and what we need to hold on to as we move forward. As Christians, we trust in the values of the Kingdom and we look for signs of God’s grace around us. For me, I need to remember to be grateful for the little things and to notice the work of God’s hand around me.
I do hope you will be able to rest and recuperate this summer and, where possible, to get away and enjoy different surroundings. As Paul opens many of his letters, ‘I give thanks to God for you and pray for you’, and am grateful for all ministries, wherever you are and whatever that looks like.
With love and best wishes
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