As I write this article, having just had our Christmas celebrations and entered into a new decade, I am personally asking myself the question, what will these next year’s bring because, at the moment it’s not unreasonable, I would suggest, to think that the future looks a little bleak – and I’m not talking about the constant pain of an arthritic hip and how that affects me!
31 st January should have seen the UK formally leaving the EU but that is only the first step of terminating our membership. There will be a transition period, lasting until 31 st December 2020, to terminate the relationship “proper.” Where will all of this lead us? Depending on who you talk to, you will get a variety of answers.
Further afield, at the time of writing, Australia is ablaze with bush fires that cannot be contained bringing death and destruction to everyone and everything in its path. The issue of climate change is rising to the surface of our lives almost like an immoveable force. Can it be halted?
The climate is not alone in wreaking havoc in the world though. There’s a war, a battle, disputes, stabbings and shoootings, drone air strikes, taking place all of the time. It seems that humankind is struggling to like each other, let alone love each other.
We seem to be on a path of destruction and yet, right now there will be Valentine cards in the shops urging us to declare love for that special person in our lives. There will be Easter eggs festooning supermarket shelves; Easter eggs indicating the next festival that we will celebrate and the underpinning belief of what Easter means - new life or in other words change for the better.
For now though, in the church calendar, we enter the period of Lent where we look at our relationship with God, with each other and with the world at large. And it is that that gives me hope just as much as Easter does because, if we choose to look at our words and actions, we will discover that we are all capable, regardless of faith, of caring and of being kind both to each other and to this beautiful world we live in. Perhaps we could ponder what it is that we can give in order to make life better for those around us. How can we demonstrate care and kindness in a way that it is the other rather than self that we are thinking about? It is a radical thought - to give without counting the cost. Would that make for a better world? Personally, I think it probably would. What a wonderful decade to look forward to if that is what we decide to do.
We all deserve to be cared for. May you know all the love, care and compassion that you need at this time.