It doesn’t seem possible to find enough pejorative terms to describe the horrors of Covid-19. It has been heartbreaking for so many in so many ways.
I am very mindful of this as I want to reflect upon the redemption of lockdown. This blog is not to take away from the pain of Covid-19, but this is the essence of redemption, call evil, evil; but to deny that good can come out of it, seems to me, to ignore the core of our faith. As we prepare for Lent, leading to Easter, our story of temptation, to sacrifice, to crucifixion, is to acknowledge the real, tangible horror of the cross before we jump ahead to the joy of the resurrection, is to insult the travisty of death.
For some Covid-19 has been mixed experience. For some, the compensations have been life giving. Learning new skills, introverts having space, new opportunities to serve others. My redemption has not been that profound but significant nevertheless. Because we have not been able to go away on holiday, we have put our time and energies elsewhere. Last summer we redeemed, got back our front and back gardens from a decade plus of severe neglect. This winter we have refreshed the downstairs of our home. Redesigned our study due to 700 ish books needing a new home, overflowed in to tidying the book cases in the lounge and our prayer room. This spiraled into a serious declutter. On needing a project for my holiday last week, as well as my studies, I refreshed the kitchen and downstairs toilet, painting and fixing those little jobs that I never quite found time for. Who knew there was a difference between concrete and cement nails for carpet/ tile transition strips! I sold Sally on Oxford Blue for the front door, perhaps it is closer to a certain London football teams colours, because Blue is indeed, the colour! There seems to be a direct correlation between home deliveries and the need for boxes to hold all the old papers etc for recycling!
I am very certain that none of this work would have happened had we had had the option to go to Cornwall for several weeks. Our sad, tired looking, neglected house now looks loved and cared for. A joy to be in and look out off, on to a tidy, even pretty in places gardens. We found carpet, lots of dust and don’t need zoom backgrounds on our calls anymore! These are some of the nice things to come out of the consequences of lockdown. Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy not being able to get away. I needed forcing to stay in Birmingham, but I refused to be a victim.
I wouldn’t plan or desire it, but good has come out of bad. We still get to call Covid-19, the greatest tragedy of our generation, but the power of our redemtive faith is, that both are true. But we still get to call the sadness, tragic, the pain is not minimised. The profound lesson I have learnt from our bereaved families is, that we get to make this journey at our pace, or not at all and not at the direction of others. Self gentleness means we don’t give ourselves even more things to beat ourselves up by, no such thing in our covid lockdown life’s as “just….”. Many of our “getting through” are major achievements.
PS. While we wait for the charity shops to open, don’t try and get into our spare bedroom 😜
Blessings for creative resourcefulness in our restricted times