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Archive for March, 2018

April letter

Dear Everyone.
An elderly person waiting for a bus said to me recently, ‘I can’t spend all day sitting in my house on my own with nobody to talk to.’
He then told me that he was going into Nottingham to the Victoria shopping centre where it is warm, some comfortable seating available, and chance to chat with other people.
Loneliness can be very hard to cope with. The strange thing is that the more inhabitants there are in a town or city the easier it is to feel lonely. ‘Wanting to get out of the house’ is common amongst those who have been bereaved, and often the longer they have been together with their partners, the more intense their loneliness feels. Many do not live near their families due to the work they do, and one’s neighbours may also be out working all day.
We may be fortunate and have good neighbours around us or keep an eye on us, and help when needed. They are’ worth their weight in gold’ as the saying goes.
Speech is a God given gift. Sometimes we can say too much and bore people, but we can all have a role where we are proactive in meeting the needs others by sharing conversations with them and an important part of that role is simply listening. Even just saying ‘ good morning’ can sometimes be a splendid opening for conversation. It can make others feel wanted, and as we get to know people we may be able to invite them in our homes to have coffee or more. What a great role shop assistants can have chatting while serving their customers. Likewise medical staff while meeting the needs of their patients.
We can all play our part in the battle against loneliness. We can help to make others feel unique simply by a few words of encouragement. Sometimes of course we do need to be on our own in order to think quietly, carefully and prayerfully; but basically human beings are social creatures, and even if they are suffering from illnesses preventing them from talking rationally or not even at all, they all need words from other human beings to help them along their way.
We are now in the season of Easter where Christians proclaim the message that Christ is ‘alive’. Part of the Easter message is that in moments of loneliness we can be aware of ‘another’ who is travelling along with us on life’s journey and beyond. Human company means a lot, but there is a sense in which the risen Christ waits to be our companion on the whole of our pilgrimage.
Prayer can help us tremendously along the way. May we play our part in helping the lonely.
With all good wishes for a very happy Easter,
Every blessing,
David.

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March letter

Dear everyone.
Just now the roads and pavements here are very slippy . A doctor friend said to me ‘you ought to get a stick. As you get older it is so easy to fall. A stick is like another leg. It makes it so much easier to keep your balance.’
I have resisted having a stick for a long time mainly I suspect for vain reasons. I don’t like people to think that I’m getting old, but someone recently gave me a stick. It’s appropriate to my height, and two days ago, rather self-consciously, I went out using it for the first time.
Straightaway I started to feel the benefits.
As human beings we can all act stupidly, and not use the extra help we need. Sometimes we underestimate our abilities to do things, but at other times we think we can go on as we have always done-failing to adjust to changing circumstances, and sometimes stubbornly refusing to accept help and advice that we are given.
We all need support in many aspects of our lives whatever age we are, and whatever our abilities may be. We may need the support of friends, spiritual support, the organisations to which we belong, our families, medical care and the facilities our local authorities provide. Likewise we will want to give support to others; but there is something else I believe we need deep down in our being.
My mind goes back to the 23rd Psalm, where the Psalmist says ‘the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want’… And even in the darkest moments of the shadow of death, he says ‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.’
The Psalmist puts his trust in God as the One who was supporting him-spiritually helping him along his way through life’s struggles and anxieties.
We all need support, and often we have the privilege of helping others in their needs, but there is also the way of faith to which we are all invited to find another kind of support, and in our better moments, many of us try our best to follow.
We could well imagine the words of the psalmist when speaking of God’s help and support saying ‘your staff acts as my walking stick, and helps me along life’s way.’
It’s a thought that might help many of us, especially in our times of special need!
With all good wishes in this season of Lent.
Sincerely, David.

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