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  • Martin Lambourne

A Safe Pair of Hands


Thursday May 7th


Carving on the banks of Derwentwater


How many of us have put ourselves into the hands of a surgeon, doctor or nurse? Most of us have had to visit a surgery and been attended to by a medic in whom we have put our trust, however little we actually know them.


Sometimes we have had an injection and trusted that the jab contained something beneficial and not disinfectant. Sometimes we have had minor or major surgery and trusted the doctor who was performing the procedure that he or she would not work on the wrong leg or finger.


We trust our NHS staff because we have rarely had reason to do otherwise. We know that they are working in the surgery of hospital or care home because they care. Their motives have always seemed honourable, which has been confirmed by the courage and dedication of those who are caring for us all during this pandemic.


We feel we are in safe hands. Which is more than some of us can say about the politicians who keep promising an adequate supply of PPE, testing equipment and so on. Some of us are not so sure that our government is being honest with us or that what they are doing is always driven by the purest of motives. A government which reduced NHS stocks of equipment to dangerously low levels before the corona virus outbreak and seemed determined to 'sell off' parts of the NHS hardly inspires confidence.


In the end, I would trust Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan rather than Matt Hancock. In the same way, I guess, that people in Judea trusted Jesus rather than the religious authorities. The scribes and pharisees had one chief motive - to uphold the laws and authority of the system. Jesus,

on the other hand, had one aim - to heal and to save.


A friend posted a food bank poster from Sheffield on Facebook yesterday. It was offering food to anyone during Ramadan. There was a quote: 'You have two hands, one to help yourself and the second to help others.' I like that.


There is a verse in Deuteronomy, in the Old Testament, which assures us that the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. With that kind of confidence, let's put our hands together again tonight for those whose hands are full of healing and compassion and care. Safe hands.


Written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS by Michael Rosen


These are the hands That touch us first Feel your head Find the pulse And make your bed.


These are the hands That tap your back Test the skin Hold your arm Wheel the bin Change the bulb Fix the drip Pour the jug Replace your hip.


These are the hands That fill the bath Mop the floor Flick the switch Soothe the sore Burn the swabs Give us a jab Throw out sharps Design the lab.


And these are the hands That stop the leaks Empty the pan Wipe the pipes Carry the can Clamp the veins Make the cast Log the dose And touch us last.


Prayer:

Thank you, mother, father God,

for those in whose hands we have placed our trust and not been let down.

Thank you for all those who are working this day to keep us safe and well.

We pray for all governments, that they will seek the higher vision of serving honestly and wholeheartedly the public they serve.

We pray for ourselves, that we may always offer at least one hand to serve our neighbour.

Lead us all by the hand to a better world beyond this time and place,

Amen


Banksy artwork unveiled at a Southampton hospital yesterday


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