By Dr Susi Wood, Lay Minister in Threlkeld and St John’s in the Vale.
By now we have grown used to what was at first strange, avoiding each other in the supermarket and on pavements for those lucky enough to be able to shop for essentials. With closed churches, families separated from each other, the vulnerable under total lockdown and our beloved Reminder only available online, there has been a sea change in our experience of the everyday.
The division between the haves and the have nots is now even starker with rising unemployment, increased poverty and a higher death toll from Covid-19 in areas of deprivation. But good has emerged from despair; a genuine regard for the well-being of others, volunteers in abundance, appreciation for frontline workers in the NHS, refuse collection, postal services and delivery drivers.
As we emerge slowly from lockdown, as diaries begin to fill up and busy lives return, please God we keep all these positives as well as the times of stillness and gratitude for the sound of the cuckoo, the sunshine and the rain, the bleat of the lambs, the wind in the trees and the smiles on faces as life begins in a new normal. In the joy of our return, let us pray for those who grieve for their loved ones no longer with us to enjoy being alive.