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 reality.
Jesus was judged by many as ‘speaking with authority and not as the scribes’ (the powers that be in the Jewish religious establishment)Mark 1:22. I would suggest that his authority arose out of the fact that his words were reflected in his actions – he was what he said. That kind of authority seems to be in short supply during this crisis.
In contrast to political leaders, we see and hear many health and social care practitioners baring their souls about the reality of working on the front line. They are so much more believable than the politicians when it comes to the truth about protective equipment and what is really happening. They are transparent because their only agenda is the well-being of those in their care and the safety of their colleagues.
A time like this calls for political stances, party agendas and public popularity to take back stage to honesty, competence and compassion. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a political environment in which trust and transparency replaced deception and duplicity?
Jesus had just one thing on his agenda, echoed in his words in John Chapter 10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Let us hope that, if nothing else, this time we have to sit back and reflect will lead to a determination to adopt a new agenda. A manifesto for the future which reflects the motivation behind the creation of the NHS over 70 years ago – to provide a decent quality of life for everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live, what language they speak, how old they are or what colour their skin.
Mother, Father God,
Christ bared his soul and gave his life for us all.
We thank you for those who are doing that today, so that others might live.
Give our leaders the courage to be open and honest in their words and actions.
Give those who care for us the strength of body, mind and spirit to maintain their unstinting service on our behalf.
Give us the patience to accept our need to be continually vigilant in our distancing.
Keep us mindful of the belief that we shall get through this – together.