Yesterday Hayden (my son) asked me what procrastination is, I could have replied it is exactly what I have been doing since Monday, knowing I needed to write reflections this week, but struggling to find a way to straighten out the thoughts buzzing round my head enough to share with you, so instead I have been finding lots of other things to get on with instead!
Do you have days like that too?
Sometimes I feel it is a weakness, other times it feels like my procrastination can give be quite helpful, by providing the time and space that I need, to prepare fully for whatever the task may be (apart from with ironing, no amount of procrastination helps with that!)
Now I am not sure if I have been having more thoughts recently, or if the absence of routine and the normal busy-ness of life means I am actually paying more attention to them, they seem to linger and grow. it feels like I go for periods of time where my thoughts seem to follow a specific theme, my thoughts take inspiration from so many places, but I am sure that when I have a theme, it is something that God has gifted to me, often something I need to learn.
The last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about ‘noticing’, how many moments pass by without us noticing? How do we not only notice, but acknowledge significant events?
Sadly, yesterday the UK reached a horrific milestone – 100,000 deaths related to Covid-19, an increase of 25,000 since Christmas. At the start of the pandemic, the estimated expected total was 25,000, yet here we are having reached a number that quite frankly is incomprehensible. Each one of those people have a story, they have loved ones who mourn them. We may only know the numbers, but God knows them all by name.
I am certain that in years to come, we will be finding ways to mark and remember all that happened during the pandemic of 2020/2021, so that those who lost their lives will always be remembered and the work of our frontline workers will be acknowledged and applauded down the generations.
Today marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, all these years on and the sheer horror of the genocide of over 6million Jews still hurts, and so it should! Nothing we can do will change the past, but the act of remembering can change the future. Our media channels today are full of stories of peoples experiences of those dark times, stories of hope, loss, unimaginable suffering, faith, and bravery. It is those stories that we cling to and they help us to understand and grow as a society.
Now I am not in any way comparing the pandemic to the Holocaust, but what I am noticing is how the actions and experiences of those who lived through the Holocaust, are shaping our lives now. As the stories are told, we listen, we weep, we learn, and we grow. We notice how the actions of some, shaped the lives of so many, both then and now.
Just as we look back on the Holocaust, so too will future generations look back on today. Every day we live will become history, but what we are experiencing now will be marked in the history books and remembered for a long time to come.
Let us notice our feelings,
Let us notice others,
Let us notice the heroes,
Let us notice the small things,
Let us notice the big things,
Let us notice the present, in the knowledge that soon it will become the past.
Let us look forward with hope, to a time of renewed normal, where we can remember these days instead of notice.
Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York published a letter to the nation, acknowledging the 100,000 lives lost, it is a letter of consolation and encouragement. Starting from 1st February they are inviting us to pray at 6pm each evening, as prayer is an expression of love. Please do read the letter and consider joining in as the nation prays.
A prayer for those who mourn
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.