How cruel!

Thursday, 30th April Luskentyre Bay, Durness, top left hand corner of Scotland That’s Cruel! If you are a Facebook member, you will know that every day when you open up for the first time, there will be a photo(s) of somewhere you had been a year or several ago. The above picture came up on my screen. At this present time it seems almost cruel to be reminded of where I cannot be! Yet, when I think about it, it occurs to me that beauty spots like these will be no less beautiful for not having feet trampling carelessly over wild flowers, or wild animals and livestock being panicked by dogs allowed to roam unchecked or speedboats skimming recklessly over calm waters. Mother nature will manage

Crystal Clear

Wednesday April 29th Etching on glass: Mirfield Transparency is a frequently used word these days with reference to the current handling of the pandemic in this country. It seems that despite government spokespersons assuring us that they are being just that, too much evidence suggests otherwise. The manipulation of data issued around the amount of PPE distributed to health workers beggars belief. It seems the only tactic politicians can employ to repel calls for reasons why PPE supplies, testing sites etc. are inadequate is to throw figures at us. ‘We’ve spent so much on this and provided so much of that…’ does not help. Especially when we know data can be made to paint a false picture of r

Up the Workers!

Tuesday, 28th April: Workers Memorial Day Thanks to a friend called Gwen, I now know that today is Workers Memorial Day. I have included a prayer from the email Gwen sent me from our mutual friends, Janet and Bob. Today, there will be a minute's silence at 11.00am to remember key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. A prayer for the moment is given below. A young neighbour of ours, in her early twenties, works on the checkouts at a big supermarket in Sheffield. Suddenly she is on the frontline in more ways than one, exposed to many customers who may be carrying the dreaded virus. And she is part of the huge group of people who are low paid and therefore undervalued – along with Car

Goats get a bad press...

Monday, April 27th Boys in Kiambu, north of Nairobi One of the good things about social media is being able to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. Yesterday, I came across a post from a friend Jenny and I haven’t seen for eleven years – Joseph. His proper name is Wanyoike Kuria, but he was known to us as Joseph, an Anglican priest in Thika, Kenya. When we are immersed in our troubles here in the UK, it is easy to forget that other people in other parts of the world are also suffering – especially when the news features little beyond our shores, apart from a brief glimpse of Donald Trump’s antics and a few comparative statistics from the Covid-19 league tables. Having be

On the Emmaus Road

Sunday, 26th April This is a painting by the German priest and artist, Sieger Köeder. His artwork featured in the Holy Week reflections in the URC Daily Devotions. The painting depicts the journey on the Emmaus Road recounted in Luke’s gospel in chapter 24, verse 13 onwards Revd Simon Copley offers this reflection on Luke's post resurrection story: As the two disciples journey together they share the things they have experienced and, as they talk, Jesus himself draws alongside to listen and then to speak. The disciples are able to talk openly about their deepest feelings: broken dreams, bitter failures and disappointed hopes. They believed Jesus was going to redeem Israel and yet he had been

Shelter from the storm?

Saturday, April 25th This is the time to be slow, Lie low to the wall Until the bitter weather passes. Try, as best you can, not to let The wire brush of doubt Scrape from your heart All sense of yourself And your hesitant light. If you remain generous, Time will come good; And you will find your feet Again on fresh pastures of promise, Where the air will be kind And blushed with beginning.” John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings I have always enjoyed John O’Donohue’s poetry and blessings in a Celtic style. This poem was chosen recently by Fergal Keane, the journalist, in the Today programme on Radio 4. It does create a sense of calm and assurance in a time of s

Neighbours

Friday 24th April Ramadan has begun. And for many of our Muslim friends that adds another dilemma to their already complicated daily pattern under lockdown. It is a sobering fact that the black, Asian and ethnic minority members of our NHS staff are suffering a disproportionate number of deaths from Covid-19. There is no doubt that carers and other workers at risk, of all faiths and none, have given their lives to serve others in our communities - both friends and strangers. Listening to Jenny from New Zealand, describing her involvement in the nursing of Boris Johnson in the Intensive Care Unit highlighted the reality that our doctors and nurses are risking their lives to care for all who c

Home or Away?

Thursday 23rd April Gwen, a friend of mine, is off on a visit to one of her favourite places - in her imagination. So, I'm doing the same and taking you to the beach near our static caravan in North Wales. In the top right distance is the triple-peaked mountain called Yr Eifl, though it's better known on scouting circles as The Rivals. Three, three, the rivals is a line in a campfire song. The thrift in the foreground will be out now, but I took this picture last year. It reminds me that the journalist Frank Gardner read a poem yesterday which reflected that regardless of our human lockdown, Spring will bloom regardless as the seasons continue their relentless cycle - with or without us. Jes

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