Looking back on VE Day reminded me that during the years which followed WWII’s ending one of the questions which young people often asked of each other was, ’What did your father do in the war?’ For some the answer would be the armed services, for others a reserve occupation, and perhaps, in some aces, a conscientious objector.
I was reminded of this while reading an article today about changes in community and came across the words, ‘We search and discover the gifts rather than the perceived deficiencies.’
When we ask people during this Coronavirus what they have been doing in the ‘lockdown’ one receives a variety of answers. A friend of mine has been spending time in the garden, seeding and potting plants, cutting the grass, trimming the hedge. There are those who will have been fulfilling key roles to save and protect life (for which much thanks), then there are those who have been ensuring that the necessities of life have been attainable, not forgetting those who have ensured that our communications have been maintained.
My “lockdown’ has allowed me to catch up on the books which I have been putting aside intending to read one day in the future. Now, as I look across the study the space where these stood, I observe I have an empty space. Also, I have been telephoning and emailing those whom I have promised to keep in touch with but who have slipped my mind of late. In between I have eaten well and exercised daily.
It is to be hoped that when the final days of the present crisis comes we shall be able to continue with the gifts (talents) that we have been given and not the perceived deficiencies. For I am sure, that during this period we have each perceived not just the deficiencies, but also the gifts that will enable us to strengthen and support the community. (It is so easy to do the former; I have been sad that national and local news have concentrated on the number of deaths each day rather than on the number of those who have recovered and been sent home.)
So, let’s pray that we shall learn from our experiences (realised or discovered through this crisis) and use and increase these gifts which God has given us.