Daffodils on the Doorstep!
So simple but so uplifting! Seemingly such a little token of love and interest but one which makes lockdown days seem much more cheerful and brings that wonderful sense of connection! At different times in the last few weeks I've thankfully received several of these bright bunches of cheerfulness! During this extraordinary era of our lives, the smallest inspiration of creative generosity can help us devise those touches of brightness which can be tailor made for each valued person.
Having to be so 'Covid careful' at the moment as we genuinely want to protect each other, our kindness needs a considerable amount of thinking through. I have a friend who has made many fruit crumbles during this pandemic year to give to neighbours in need, keeping each container virus free and delivering onto doorsteps with a cheery (and sanitised!) note of encouragement!
Challenging times often bring out 'the best in us' and even the smallest touch of kindness can be remembered forever.
Whether we are tired because of juggling work and home schooling, whether concerned because our finances are negatively impacted or whether we are in great pain because we have lost someone very special to us, there are many in the community who would love to pass on their understanding or comfort. If we have experienced any of life's hardships, we can empathise with those who are going through something similar. So even though we are shut away in our own homes and not able to meet each other in person let's look for opportunities to encourage or come alongside anyone we know who might appreciate a friendly face or an uplifting word.
The Christian message conveys that God changes us, so that even hearts of stone can be transformed into compassionate hearts from which flow his characteristics of love, grace, peace, patience and more! Even when we run out of our own strength we can draw on his everlasting energy. God's promise is that 'those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint'. Our own strength can be very depleted at the moment with all that we have been through in the last year, so this reminder is for all of us and is heartening and hopeful.
And how better to end than to thank God for the remarkable work of scientists, medics and volunteers who have made the incredible vaccination project so rapidly implemented and so speedily delivered. We are so grateful!
Hazel Marchment. (Basingstoke Community Churches).