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Viewpoint from Carolyn Cliff 16/10/2020

Licensed Reader, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry


I wonder how many of you, like me, are finding the present times stressful.  We may try to push to the back of our minds Covid-19 and its effects on our lives.  But it can raise its ugly head time and time again.  We turn on the news and each day we hear the figures or of new restrictions.  One minute we are being encouraged to go out and as I write this, new restrictions are again coming into place
dove leftNow, do not get me wrong.  I am all for every one of us playing our parts.  We each have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to keep each other safe.  It may be easy to say, “Oh it won’t happen to me”.  “It’s all a con”.  “The government is restricting my freedoms”.  But what if?  What if it is your spouse or partner or child that catches Covid-19?  Would they survive or would their lives change beyond all your dreams?  What if your elderly relative ended up in the critical care unit in hospital?  What if you will be arranging a funeral for one you love?
Dove rightGod calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus’ answer to who is my neighbour is the story of the good Samaritan.  In his day, Samaritans and Jews were antagonistic and would not do anything to help the other.  A man was attached by robbers and left for dead.  The priest and scribe, themselves Jews, crossed by and ignored the man in need.  It was the Samaritan who stopped and nursed the man and took him to safety.  Our neighbour is anyone you work with, anyone in the shops, anyone in the marketplace, anyone in your street, anyone in the pub or restaurant.  Visitors and those who live here are our neighbour.  Wherever you are the people around you are your neighbours and you are responsible for their wellbeing as they are responsible for yours
As to stress.  We can try to mitigate it.  Do something we enjoy safely.  Go for a walk on the beach or countryside.  Go for a run.  Read a book you love.  Some may enjoy being quiet and colouring.  Another thing we are called to do is give thanks to God for his love and blessings.  For Jesus dying and rising that we may live with God in love.  To give thanks for the good things in our lives, however small
Yes, times are stressful.  But let us care for each other and give thanks where it is due

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury



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