DAY 52: Saturday 9 May
Good morning all
How was yesterday for you? It was a day of remembering and celebration and I know some of you were involved with a street party or similar celebration for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Those who live on a quiet street or cul-de-sac could take your chair outside and join with your neighbours (at a distance of course). Unfortunately, Karen and I did not have that option, so we sat in our back garden in the sunshine and enjoyed cake and scones with a cup of tea. VE Day marked the ‘Victory in Europe’ celebrations of 8 May 1945, and in Germany it marked their release and freedom from Nazi rule. In Russia which had by far the greatest loss of life of all the allied forces, they mark their VE Day today, 9th May.
We all look forward to the future day when this nation can resume a more normal lifestyle, but some experts predict things cannot be the same again, at least for several years. As 80 years ago, the British people could not have imagined the war would continue for so long nor the cost in lives and physical destruction.
The great thing about ‘celebration’ is that it’s often infectious. I remember being in a restaurant when a surprise birthday cake with candles was paraded to a neighbouring table. Everybody in the restaurant spontaneously joined in ‘Happy Birthday’ then cheered and clapped as the embarrassed young lady blew out the candles. The previously quiet and subdued atmosphere had transformed in just a few moments, and for the rest of the evening, the place buzzed with friendly banter between strangers. ‘Celebration’ is a powerful and positive tool that can brighten up other people’s lives so let’s not neglect to use it.
You may have noticed how people have been more chatty on the streets, neighbours are getting to know each other better. VE Day street parties filmed for TV yesterday where people admitted they knew their immediate neighbours but not those further down the road. They might recognise them by sight but up until yesterday never had chance to sit and talk, albeit from a distance. This was often because neighbours come out of their house, jump straight in the car and drive away. But now, and in the celebrations of yesterday, the stay at home has meant that neighbours are getting to know one another better.
A personal observation over the past couple of days has been a significant increase in traffic on the roads. Over the past 5-6 weeks, we have seen many people walking up and down our road, individuals and families, on foot or on bicycles. We have enjoyed a unique feeling of peace and quiet, quiet skies and traffic-free roads. But since Thursday, the traffic has unexpectedly increased and yesterday there was a noticeable reduction in people walking or exercising. It felt as though our community was prematurely returning to how things were up until 2 months ago. The traffic was heavier and noisier, and there were fewer smiles from passers-by on the other side of the road.
What could have caused this sudden change? Undoubtedly many people are feeling frustrated at the enforced isolation of lockdown. They want to get back to the way things were before social distancing, isolation and lockdown. But that seems some way off yet although Boris is due to make a statement tomorrow evening but my guess is don’t expect any dramatic relaxation of the current restrictions unless we want to risk an escalation of infections and deaths.
‘Getting closer’ is getting closer and we are all looking forward to being able to get out and about and getting closer to one another, our families and friends; even a handshake would be nice. In the meantime, we can draw closer to God at any time – there’s no isolating or social distancing with our Heavenly Father who longs to be close to His children.
Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands – James 4:8
Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near - Isaiah 55:6
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need – Hebrews 4:15-16
Here’s a Hymnalong for today >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8EL6M5Vu9w&feature=youtu.be
Sheila is to remain in Good Hope over the weekend and be transferred next week to QE Hospital in Edgbaston where she may undergo open-heart surgery. Please remember Sheila and David and their family through these worrying days.
MAKE YOU SMILE:
A lonely man decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. So he went to a pet store and said that he wanted to buy an unusual pet.
After some discussion he finally bought a centipede, which came in a little white box.
He took the box home, found a good location for it and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to the pub to have a drink.
So he asked the centipede in the box, "would you like to come out with me to have a beer?" But there was no answer from his new pet.
This bothered him a little, but he waited a few minutes and then asked him again. "how about going out and having a drink with me?". But again there was no answer from his new friend and pet.
He waited a few minutes thinking about the situation and decided to ask one more time.....putting his face up against the centipede's house he shouted "hey in there! would you like to go for a drink with me?".
A little voice came out of the box "I heard you the first time, I'm putting on my shoes".