Chapter 178 [Day 371]: Wednesday 24 March
Good morning all
Snippets from the quilting table
As I write this email it is Tuesday 23 March 2021, exactly one year on from the start of the first national lockdown. Today has been designated the first ‘National Day of Reflection’ and we are asked to reflect on the last 12 months and remember those who lost their lives to this dreadful virus, not forgetting to remember the loved ones who have been left behind.
As of yesterday, 126,172 people in the United Kingdom have lost their lives to this virus. To put this into perspective, for those who have been to Villa Park, the stadium has a capacity of 42,749. The number of dead would fill the stadium three times. That surely is something to reflect on.
“What a year” is a phrase we hear often. As a church we have been blessed that our congregation has been kept safe and as far as I know, no one has caught the virus or lost a close relative. We do remember Reg Gunnell and his family who attended the Chapel for a while and our thoughts are with them.
Has the last year changed us? I hope the answer is yes. I can certainly say it has. There have been restrictions on what we can do and where we can go but have all these been detrimental? I think not. I have valued the time at home but I do appreciate that it has been very hard for those living alone.
I am in a position where I have learned so much, be it to be a better quilter, gardener, husband haircutter or just to have the time to read more books! We have had time to consider what is really important. Is it really necessary to have your hair cut every 6 weeks or go here, there and everywhere in such a rush? NO…. we have had time to sit in the garden, and with less traffic have actually heard the birds singing.
I have spent more time in Bible study which has certainly been a blessing and so often the daily reading has been appropriate for the time, as I have mentioned over the past two weeks. Initially, Psalm 91 was my go to reading and I recommend it if you are feeling fearful. How many emotions have we experienced over the past year, fear, panic, helplessness, doubt? How about peace, trust and joy?
My lasting memory of the past 12 months happened last Good Friday. As we sat in the garden at 3pm with a cup of tea and hot cross bun, the beautiful sound of a female singer somewhere in the distance filled the air. She was singing Amazing Grace and we should be very thankful for God’s amazing grace over the last year.
Sit back and listen to this beautiful version of the hymn. I am sure it was this recording that rang out all those months ago. It sounds as if angels are singing with her (you may need a hanky ready!)
The first 30 seconds of the video is silent and unfortunately, you will also need to ignore several spelling mistakes appearing on screen, but don’t let that detract from the beauty of the hymn
A Bible verse for the past year : 1 Thessalonians 3:16-18 - Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I have just one amusing story this week. I am still battling the large quilt I mentioned last week. Trying to get a double bed sized quilt through the small gap in a sewing machine is quite a challenge. Each time I want to change the direction of the quilting line I have to feed it through again. I’m going to have muscles like Popeye!
On Tuesday last week, after I had written last week’s email, my daily Bible verse was quite clearly meant for quilters: James 1:12 - Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial…!!
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour!
Until next week, stay safe and thank God for your safe passage throughout the year just gone and for the year ahead.
NEWS: Don’t forget British Summer Time begins this weekend so remember to put your clocks FORWARD one hour on Sunday morning
Join us again on Sunday for our online virtual Palm Sunday service