The Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has made me think a lot about the way we care for one another. At its height, it was hard to see the see the stresses and strains that those who were working in hospitals and care homes were under and like many around the country I went out and clapped to show my support for those working in healthcare. More than anything, I was full of admiration for the dedication of doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and carers all over the country, and all over the world. In the reports on the news of doctors and nurses on the front line, there was a palpable sense of their sacrifice and their willingness to provide the best care possible, under considerable strain.
It has also been a great joy to see the way that people have been caring for one another.
Our communities really have come together to help people in all sorts of way, from helping people to get their weekly shopping, delivering medicines for those who could not leave their homes, to giving people a quick phone call to those who may be worried and anxious, or just missing company. Most importantly, it has been uplifting to see the way that everyone, both young and old, have looked after one another when out an about, keeping physically distanced and wearing masks. This is, of course, something that we will continue to be doing, and it is a really visible sign of our love and respect for one another.
In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul uses the image of the body to describe the way different people work together to help each another achieve a common goal. We all have a different role to play, but whatever our role is, we need to work together. He writes, "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it." (1 Cor 12:26). In the last few months, we have really seen what working together really means - everyone playing their part to help combat the virus.
There is one type of caring that I have not mentioned yet: caring for ourselves. As the lockdown begins to ease, we will be given an opportunity to take stock of everything that has happened over the last few months. It has been a great shock for many of us, and we will need time to come to terms with it. It is important for all of us needs to take some time to look after and care for ourselves. We are no good to anyone, if we forget to look after ourselves too. As the summer comes, I hope that you all have a chance to relax, to enjoy the sun and sit out in the garden, an opportunity to recharge the batteries, to indulge in some recreation and re-creation: in rest we are made anew, ready to care for those around us, and take on our role as part of the larger body, working together to help those in need.
Rev'd Stephen Burge
- February 2020
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About the Vicar's Letter
The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.
The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the Vicar's Letter area for these.