Thoughts in difficult times…
What a heat wave we have had this last month! Our prayers were certainly answered for fine weather for the vicarage fete – it was a scorcher! Thankfully there was plenty of shade toward the end of the garden and it was lovely to see so many children and parents relaxing and enjoying the barbeque and other delights. It was a very happy day and we made a good amount of money for our local schools who provided us with some wonderful stalls, singing for us and country dancing. A big thank you to you all and our theme of Seaside certainly was appropriate for the day!
So June was the driest and hottest month since records began but it must surely have been one of the most difficult months for our nation for a long time as well. Last month I wrote as the Manchester terrorist attack took place and since then we have witnessed more terror in London Bridge and the Borough Market area of London and Finsbury Park. Many innocent people lost their lives and were wounded and scarred after these terrible attacks. Sadly that was not the end as many more would lose their lives in the Grenfell Tower inferno. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who have suffered at the hands of these attacks and those who little thought that simply enjoying an evening out listening to music and meeting with friends or even in the case of Grenfell Tower asleep in their own homes, would find their lives changed or ended in such devastating ways. In all of these tragic events we have witnessed the bravery, courage and sheer dedication of our emergency services and also of the general public in the outpouring of help and support to those who have been affected. It has been wonderful to see people of all faiths or none working together despite their differences and divides, churches, mosques and other places of worship opening their doors and providing practical help and shelter where necessary as well as a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.
And so the question we might normally voice or be thinking is ‘so where is God in all this’? Strangely, post-election the question has instead seemed to have been ‘where is the government in all this?’ It has been a torrid time of mistakes, mishandling, misjudging at a time when frankly I think any government would struggle to cope with the month we have just had. I do hope and pray that parliament and certain parts of the media might take a lesson from the decency shown by much of the general public in these disasters and work together now putting aside political differences, point scoring, and other divisive issues so that the government can now work to put things right which should be put right and get on with the job of government they have been asked to do. I do realise I am now beginning to sound like a party political broadcast which as a vicar is beyond my remit!
So where though is God though in all this? Scripture tells us that God weeps with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice. Where is God? He is where he always is – with the lost, the vulnerable, the bereaved and all who suffer. Jesus meets us where we are – not where we think we ought to be; no he meets us where we are today, wherever we are. He is always there in the midst of any suffering, with the agony and dirt and he would have
been with all who lost their lives in these events, being with them and holding them in his everlasting arms.
So as we continue now through July let us in our own way do what we can to support and uphold one another through the changing scenes of our individual and communities lives, knowing that God is with us always.
With my love and prayers