Thursday, 26 March 2020

Day Nine of Being Closed - Hidden Heroes

The message of Lockdown is getting through. Each day there are fewer people out and less traffic on the roads. Yes some have not yet understood what is needed. But it takes time to change habits and adapt. It's so hard to give up on plans that have taken weeks and months to prepare.

People are being kind to one another - we were blessed by some flour and yeast from one of our neighbours. There was a bread maker hidden on a shelf at the back of our garage and there is a chance it can be brought back to life. We now have the time for bread to be made in our house.

Tonight we had our first show of unity by clapping at our front doors along the road where we live. It was quite emotional and unexpectedly good to do something positive together. Our nation coming together to support out health workers and show them how much they matter to us. After so many months of division we may just be starting to heal again.

Amongst all of this there are plenty of hidden heroes. This morning I went to visit the church primary school and our church nursery. I walked there and back without contact with any other people. Hands were washed at regular intervals. The reason for going was to support those who come every day to look after the children of those who are needed to fight the virus. The children of doctors, nurses and dentists, of pharmacists and other teachers, the children of those still needed by the navy to protect us in other ways.

The teachers at school now make swift journeys into work to care for children across several ages and connect with those at home who are all still striving for understanding. There are tweets and posts and each day the safe space they provide is helping us all to get through these strange times. One small effect of coming to the school and the nursery is that some of the little children have the chance to play outside in these sunny spring days. Those trapped inside flats have by far the worst of this. Yet the teachers and nursery carers can't rest at home and watch these days and weeks pass by. They are involved at the centre of the storm. They give up their days to make sure that the fight goes on without ceasing.

It is important to keep as much normality as possible in these uncertain days. Is it essential to go and lead an act of collective worship at school or to tell a story of Jesus at the nursery? If they foster the faith and the hope to help people carry on then perhaps they are.

We must not let the virus squash all mention of Easter. This is the season for new life to start and for new beginnings to arrive. Easter tells the story of freedom from oppression and that we are truly released from the curse of death. It also celebrates the role of hidden heroes who in the end are at the centre of a movement which can be credited with changing the whole world.

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