Making the most of lockdown

Making the most of Lockdown 

It is just a month since we all entered lockdown and it’s hard to comprehend how quickly our lives have changed. One minute everything was normal and the next – totally unexpectedly – everything had changed. We might have longed for some peace and quiet – but as the saying goes – be careful what you wish for – we may not be so glad to be socially isolating now.

If you are completely on your own, then our hearts go out to you. Unless you are the sort of person who relishes that life (and I guess few of our members are like this, otherwise they wouldn’t be members) then living life entirely alone with much less opportunity to see other people is really hard. You are in our thoughts. We hope and pray you have family, friends and/or good neighbours around – and that perhaps a call into or from our office may cheer up an otherwise lonely day.

We count ourselves to be incredibly lucky to be running friends1st in these times when so many other businesses are in such a dire position. April was one of our busiest months – not just in moving and enabling our staff to work from home (and the joys and frustrations of learning new technology!), and getting our app launched to enable you to still ‘receive’ your profiles, but also with lots of new members coming on board and doing all we can to support the people in our business ‘circle’.

At the weekend I was really struck by the words of a local parish priest Fr David: “Of course it all depends what we are doing with ourselves during this time of lockdown that matters. The mantra of spiritual writers; “That we are either growing or regressing, never neutral,” is something that I have been acutely aware of in recent days. The choices that we make are life giving, turning our attention away from ourselves. Or life sapping; focusing that energy on ourselves; that can easily turn into egoism, jealousy, bitterness and greed. The great danger of self- isolation is that, if we are not careful, we can fall into the latter pit; and this applies to us all- no matter what our housing situation.

But we have seen many examples of this life giving energy over the last few weeks to hearten, encourage, and to give us hope: The sight of Captain Tom Moore walking those steps and speaking with such humility and consideration. The consoling and encouraging words of Queen Elizabeth, drawing on her experience as Queen for 68 years: Even the songs of some of our singers- (Have a look at Taylor Swift’s song about her mother’s cancer illness), in the One World Together concert. But of course, it is the example and work of all the doctors, nurses, carers and helpers that continue to inspire us. Their work- their dedication; their self- giving moves us to give thanks to God for them and to remind us that we are all Children of God called to give glory to God in and through our lives. And be it in the hospital, the palace, the workplace in the home, if we are reaching out to others in that life giving way- then we are taking to heart and living, the example of Our Blessed Lord, washing the feet of his disciples on Maundy Thursday evening: And his face, his image, is gently reflected on our face and in our soul.”

I’m sure you, like me, experienced a very different Easter this year. Whereas normally I would be with friends, or on a large ‘retreat’ this year it was just my husband and I and the TV where we joined others in on-line Easter services. Wonderful as they are, they are not the same as journeying with others. And yet we are so blessed that Easter fell in this time. When there is so much bad and terrifying news, it is good to know that Jesus has conquered death – and that God is on his throne – and the world is in his hands.

I do hope you are using this time productively. There are so many things to be doing – and I hope contacting other members is something you are prioritising. It would be a very good use of your time. There is so much to say at the moment – we all have an enormous shared experience – and it really doesn’t matter where you live – there are great connections to be made.

This comes with blessings to you at this time,