With the limitations we have with Covid, I really appreciate my friends. As we are still able to visit in people’s homes in this area, I went to my friends for a lovely meal the other evening. It was so great to actually see faces of my friends. The food was excellent as always.
We were able to talk over memories and future plans without the limits of Whatsap or Zoom. Yes, the food was great, the company was lovely but I was also able to have my first cuddle in seven months. Conversation with the cuddled kitten was a bit limited but I whispered all kinds of loving things in his ear.
One benefit of this pandemic is that I’ve got to know some people better. I have more friends than I had before! I have visited seventeen people’s garden and now have photos I can look at in the future. (getting a bit cold for gardens now!) I’ve been into many people’s home. (OK , I did invite myself, but they’re still my friends!) And I’ve met up with friends in cafes. (I’m quite a coffee drinker now!)
I’ve met up with friends from around the world who live locally – Scotland, Finland, Germany and now as you will see from the title, Costa Rica and Guatemala. My friends from Central America were so delightful. We looked at wedding photos and pictures of Guatemala. I mustn’t forget the spread of food also.
Of course, I hate the restrictions on my life and I grieve for so many who have died and those with long covid. But I believe these friends will remain after the virus has passed. Yes, it will pass, I don’t know when or how, we must throw ourselves on the mercy of God.
On Sunday i was able to physically go to church for the first time. There were only twelve of us there besides the leaders. It was so strange to see faces (or at least half faces) which I had not seen for seven months.
I found it difficult to worship which after all was why I was there. I was distracted by the re-arrangement of the church and by the lay-out of the band which before I had only seen on a screen.
If I can go next week I trust I will be able to worship
It’s happening. The tree that i told you about the other day is slowly changing colour. well, the leaves are changing colour. It was showing green with a few autumn leaves. Now there are more autumn leaves than green ones. I need to keep looking as it appears to be changing before my eyes.
I do thank God for the seasons. I don’t have a favourite one. I love them all.
After nearly seven months with limited contact with people, I’ve now got to the position of counting the people I know that I see each day. It’s not many but I’m able to thank God for each of them and pray for them. When I was meeting with many people I couldn’t do this.
I’m also able to ask my friends what I can pray for them. And now I also have time to do so. This is a small advantage of the pandemic. Individuals become more important.
Our church was able to invite members in for a service for the first time last Sunday. There would be less than twelve people and the chosen ones were really looking forward to it. All the cleaning of the church had been done and the few chairs well spaced out.
Then two hours before the service was to start there was a power cut. Arrangements were made to broadcast the service from another place but because no special cleaning had been done it was not possible to invite a congregation.
The comment was made, was God saying don’t have the service or was the devil interfering? I don’t have the answer, but I gave the matter a great deal of thought. Why should the power cut have come at that particular time? Many churches have already opened up, what about ours? I wait with bated breath for next Sunday.
I’ve been admiring the large tree outside my house for six months. I’ve now decided to photo it every month as it will be changing with the seasons. As its getting large i had the most awful fear that the council would cut it down. I need to have a record in case that happens.
This week it has started to display the autumn leaves (well there are the same leaves that I’ve been looking all year, not autumn leaves) Looking at the fallen leaves filling up the garden.
What a blessing we have the seasons. I wouldn’t want summer all the year and I don’t think I’d survive a continuous winter. (see The Tales of Narnia)
‘Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness.’ This line from John Keats is probably one of the best known lines of poetry.
What a blessing that we have the period of autumn in England. If life was always summer, we would tire of it. If it was always winter we would suffer from depression. We are blessed that we have the seasons.
Our life is also a series of seasons. We wouldn’t want to stay as a small child kicking a football around. We wouldn’t always want the anxiety of the teenage years. Nor would we want our children always living at home. We wouldn’t want our whole life to be lived as an old person. May we fully embrace whatever season we are in and thank God for it.
These few words appear in Mark 7:37, a comment from the villagers when Jesus had healed the deaf and blind man in the region of Decapolis. It is a thought we can echo when we think of creation. God was pleased with what He had made. Everything He has made and has done since shows that everything is done well.
It is still difficult to explain ‘act of God’ disasters. Humans and animals are sometimes born in what we see as not perfect. Mankind has brought many disasters on themselves by their acts of selfishness. In the hymn by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) From Greenland’s icy mountain he uses the line ‘every prospect pleases and only man is vile.’ Man is sinful and God is divine.
In our present pandemic, God speaks. In Genesis chapter 1, we read ten times that God speaks. He speaks to the whole of mankind, but also speaks to us individually in our particular circumstances. In a sparkling cobweb or colourful autumn leaf, He speaks.
We hear His word giving us comfort and telling us not to be afraid. He says so many times in the Bible, Do not be afraid. As this morning I watched the dawn roll back the night clouds once again, I realised again that the God who is in control is saying, Do not be afraid.