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Viewpoint from Mary Ives 23/04/2021


Licensed Lay Minister
St Mary Magdalene Church, Gorleston

As I’m sitting to write this, we are taking our first tentative steps out of lockdown. We sometimes say ‘what a difference a day makes’ and here I’m sure we can say “what a massive difference a year makes”. What a strange year we’ve all been through. Towards the end of March, we paused for reflection and asked God’s blessing on our land as we reached the anniversary of the first lockdown. I remember at the very beginning it was suggested that everyone over a certain age would have to shield for 14 weeks. I was absolutely horrified and wondered how this could happen, but we learnt to be adaptable and take on board each step we were required to take
dove leftI’ve been reflecting on the positive things that have happened through this time. Science and technology have had a positive impact on our lives – helping us to navigate our way out of this dreadful situation we have found ourselves in. Many people have been able to continue working from home – something that even 10 years ago would have been impossible. We’ve been able to see family and friends on Video calls and join meetings on Zoom. Having this option has encouraged people to be part of the worship of the church even though they have been physically apart
Personally, I have developed some ‘new’ or previously undeveloped creative skills, photography, creative writing to name but two.  I have also rediscovered the joy of nature – and learnt to be more thankful for what I have. Of course, many things were missing during that time – one of the saddest being the loss of contact with family and close friends. We have had to grieve in isolation when friends and family have passed away – some of these quite unexpected. I suppose it is true to say ‘life will never be quite the same again.’ Yes, it will be different, but strange though it seems the things that govern our lives will still be the same. Day and night, the tides, the seasons – these won’t change
Dove rightAs we come out of lockdown, maybe we could all reflect on the positive things which have happened, rather than the negative and give thanks to God for those. Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5 v 16 “to be thankful in all circumstances”. Sometimes that can be so hard to do.  We do have much to be thankful for – for those of us with faith we see God’s hand at work in creation and in the lives of those who have done so much for others during this pandemic. Many volunteers, through churches and other organisations have been helping support the most vulnerable in our society – in selfless acts, through befriending on the phone, providing hot meals and food through foodbanks, gardening, shopping, collecting medicine supplies. So let’s look forward with hope and thankfulness, supporting one another as we come out of lockdown


also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


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