Looking ahead


I must confess, I have avidly read and followed every single bit of the development, production and implementation of the vaccines.  So, why has this fascinated so many including myself?  The rollout of the vaccines in Britain has certainly been impressive and once again science is leading the way forward to perhaps a more normalised world?  There are still so many questions though that lingers in the minds of the scientists and the non-scientists alike.  What will the world be like again?  Will we go back to being the pre- covid creatures that we used to be?

During the pandemic we have had the luxury of hiding behind our masks, shun human society, stay aloof, sanitize everything, endure long, unruly hairs, pretended to be teachers and locked ourselves away.  If someone had suggested this a couple of years ago, I would have gone ballistic.

And…as Easter draws nigh, I ponder on the death, crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ.  Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday.  On this day Christians commemorate the passion or suffering and death on the cross of Jesus Christ.  During Easter we celebrate the victory of Christ over death and the resurrection of Christ fulfilling the prophesies prophesied many centuries ago. Easter signifies a new dawn of hope, salvation and life eternal.

As I write this, I ask myself, do I as a Christian rush the good Friday moment so that I can feel jubilant and victorious immediately on Easter Sunday.  Similarly, in life, do I try to rush and make sense of things, rushing to fix things, instead of just living with the mess for a while?  Am I ok to be not so ok sometimes?  This pandemic has challenged me in more ways than one.  I have asked myself, have I beheld the solemness and the quietness of the pandemic?  Have I allowed myself to be broken and confused over this period or have I rushed to find the answers in the doctors, vaccines and the scientific data thereby produced?

Of course, I have waited for the vaccines with much anticipation and hope.  And of course, it has given me hope along with the countless millions around me.  And vaccines throw open wide the possibility of the opening of a lockdown, the start of holidays, hugging, embracing and doing the simple, ordinary things of life that I have temporarily forgotten.  But I also, ask myself, am I rushing to reach the other end quickly and not stopping by at the present? I just discovered from a lovely colleague’s art work the other day, which says “I didn’t realise the value of this moment until it became a memory”.

Being still and embracing the season can also be healing.  Crying with those who cry can also be good.   Being at a loss with no words to speak can also be right.  Being lost and confused can also be rewarding.  Being broken and sorrowful can also put things in perspective.  It is also good to allow oneself to be broken, so that the healing can come through – for healing and restoration comes when we are truly broken. KINTSUGI is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold – built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.  Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400 year old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design.  As a result the restored piece is even more beautiful, unique and resilient.

I welcome the vaccines but I also look back at the challenges the pandemic did bring into our lives. It wrecked houses, tore families apart and took many a livelihood and lives away.  It brought in pain, sadness and death.   In the Bible, in Mark 15:37-39 the story goes, “the centurion was just doing his job that day on Good Friday but something unexpected and dramatic happened.  As he looked at the broken, bloody body of Christ hanging above him, he encountered the Son of God.”  Dare I say his life changed forever.  He chose to look at the person on the cross and chose to dwell in the moment.  Like the centurion many of us have also looked around at the chaos inflicted by the pandemic and have encountered treasures beyond measure.

Perhaps we will all be like those broken pottery rebuilt again, healed and restored with gold.

And as we eat our Easter eggs this year which represents new life, let us continue to hope and breathe in the beginnings of a new dawn.  This is what Easter is all about.

I look ahead to good times…of healing, restoration, celebration and jubilation.  Do you?

Wishing you a blessed, restful, joyful Easter.



This months blog was written by Grace Palmer, our Chaplain at YMCA Burton

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