The cafes in Chester are offering take away coffee, a few more restaurants are offering take away meals, more people can be part of visiting, some schools are opening up, the cathedral is opening its doors for private prayer.
The pandemic isn’t over but we are beginning to change to a new life. Meanwhile, the lack of equality amongst the human race has been highlighted in the death of George Floyd and the world wide response indicating that many want to see all people treated equally. Many of the protestors were driven by their Christian faith and the verse: ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ Galatians 3:28
As we open up to a ‘new normal’ or maybe a ‘better’ normal, it seems there is almost an opportunity for a ‘new beginning’ – a chance to leave the mistakes of the past behind and to begin again. Maybe we can begin to formulate a world where there is no racism or bullying: where everyone is indeed equal. George Orwell in ‘Animal Farm’ speaks of, ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’. Jesus’ example was to touch and heal lepers, to honour the poor, to love the socially isolated tax collectors. Maybe we can reflect and start again.
I have been attending a course on ‘Trauma, Resilience and Healing in times of a Pandemic’ at The Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonberg (via ZOOM of course) with other leaders from Chester Diocese. Early on, we received the diagram below, which, with all its shortcomings, is a way of helping us to think through some of our experiences of the corona virus. We might change the question to ‘What do I want to be AFTER Covid-19’. I hope you will find it helpful to consider the diagram individually or talk with someone else to see if any of the areas resonate with your experience. As you read it, your experiences may move from left to right ie from Fear, to Learning, to Growing to Action or they may dip in and out of each zone oscillating backwards and forwards. The ‘Action Zone’ is significant in that we ask ourselves: ‘What next?’ The diagram can help us to frame our thinking and then put it into our daily prayer and action for Christ.
What would you like to leave behind and start anew with in you daily life with God?