I don’t know about you but, I certainly didn’t see it coming.
I was looking forward to 2020. I had big plans for the year. I had holiday, work and study plans in place. We had plans to celebrate my better half’s “special” birthday. 2019 had not been the best of years for us as a family and, I figured, that 2020 would have made up for it.
If only I had known!
Now, my plans are out of the window. Holidays have been cancelled, my 3 month Sabbatical is postponed and, somehow, a Zoom birthday party just isn’t the same. I am not moaning. I know there are many more people who have lost far more than we have. I know there are people who are mourning the loss of loved ones.
Coronavirus has created massive disruption to our way of life.
The mess that this disruption has caused, will take a long time and lot more heartache to sort out. It will be sometime before we can get back to some sort of normality.
The disruption of Coronavirus has been very unwelcome.
During this time of lockdown, I have frequently, turned to the words of Psalm 46. They paint a picture of a world that is in turmoil;
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46 vs. 2 – 3)
I turned to these words again this morning as I came to a time of prayer. As I did so, I began to think that whilst disruption may be unsettling and unwelcome it is sometimes necessary in order to create something new.
Yesterday, I watched the news as the statue of Edward Colston was toppled from its plinth and dumped in water at Bristol docks. Colston had been a controversial figure in Bristol and British history. In his home city, the statue was erected to celebrate his generosity. The inscription stated that the statue was
Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city
Behind this philanthropic face lay something that was and is absolutely abhorrent, the slave trade. His wealth came from the slave trade.
I know there are some who view this act as one of vandalism (the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, described the action as “utterly disgraceful). Others see this as an act that highlights the injustices that continue to be faced by members of the Black community.
I will leave you to decide which side of the fence you sit upon, please do not state your opinions – I don’t want my thoughts turned into political ping pong! You will have, also, missed the point of what I am trying to say.
Maybe out of the disruption of Covid 19 and the disruption on our streets yesterday, something good can come.
Maybe our eyes will be opened to the imbalance of our society and we can do something to address it.
Maybe we will see, what is described as, “modern day slavery” and work for freedom – yes, it is still happening in this country and throughout the world
Maybe we will appreciate those who we now see are the key workers
Maybe we will work on the relationship we have with the planet we live on
Just maybe, we will give God the room to speak into our world and let His values, His love and His justice speak
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46 vs. 10)