Another guest blog written by Dave Peacock
Lockdown feels like a lifetime ago. I honestly cannot believe that we’re already in September, on the verge of entering October. It seems quite strange looking back on it now, but I remember when the panic of lockdown started to set in, toilet paper (TP for short) suddenly became a rare commodity more valuable than gold. I recall seeing on the news that supermarkets across the UK were selling out of TP and smugly thinking to myself. ‘I’m sure Clevedon will be different’. It turns out I was wrong. I went to the four supermarkets in Clevedon and every TP shelf was completely bare. The world had officially gone insane. I remember buying some kitchen roll as a back-up. I’m thankful things didn’t get that desperate.
I went shopping at Tesco on Monday evening this week and the TP was noticeably low on stock. Rumours of a second lockdown are in the air and judging by the low levels of TP across the supermarkets, people are gearing up for another period of covid related isolation. Understandably, most of us aren’t excited by the prospect of another lock down. Many of us had to deal with difficult circumstances and uncertainty. Many of the things that we’d always felt sure about were taken away from us, like the ability to go and see loved ones or going out for a daytrip.
During lockdown, I felt grateful to have a roof over my head and food on the table. I certainly wouldn’t say that I faced any significant struggle in comparison to what many other people had to deal with. Carmen’s line of work meant that her hours increased significantly as quarantine measures kicked in and, as a result, I took over the lion’s share of parenting duties.
I love Emily, but some of the days were a battle to get through without reverting to Hey Duggee, Iggle Piggle and Peppa Pig for support. Coming up with inventive ways to entertain Emily was great fun, but there are only so many pillow forts you can build. It became a struggle to come up with different things to do with Emily every day and hours began to pass very slowly.
I remember several weeks into lockdown, there was a knock at the door. There was a bag on the doorstep and as I looked up, I saw one of the helpers from Emily’s toddler group that she attended at Clevedon Baptist Church. I looked in the bag and found lots of different goodies for Emily to play with, along with some delicious looking sweeties. I expressed my thanks to the person at the end of the driveway and went in to share the contents of the bag with Emily minus the sweeties, which mysteriously disappeared in transit.
Although this was a small gesture of kindness, it had a tremendous impact on me and reminded me that, even though the restrictions imposed on us due to covid limit us in many ways, there are still opportunities to share God’s love with people. Given the impact that these restrictions have on people’s lives, it’s arguable that these gestures may have an even bigger impact than many of us realise.
Galatians 6: 9-10 says:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Whatever the next few months brings for us personally and as a church, there will still be opportunities to do good, to bless people with small gestures and remind people that God cares about them.
Some of you may have enjoyed or engineered moments of kindness similar to my experience with Emily’s goodie bag and will know the impact it can have. Every day, we have the chance to give those around us a glimpse of the love that God has for them through these small gestures. The restrictions that we may have to endure in the future will pose challenges in how we do good to all people, but it will also be filled with opportunities. Let’s do our best to make sure these God given moments don’t pass us by.