Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The Gospel reading for this Sunday, 2nd after Easter, is from John 20:19-end. It relates the appearance of the Risen Lord to the disciples. Thomas was not present and would not believe what the others told him. "Unless I see.... I will not believe", he said.
The current pandemic and resulting economic collapse will have caused many to question where God is in all this."If he is so marvellous he could end this at a stroke, so why doesn't he?" they ask. And maybe your own faith is tested but remember Elijah in great distress sought the Lord but He did not come to him with great thunderings, earthquakes or violent winds but in the silence. 1 Kings 19:12. You see god moves in mysterious ways as we can see from an up to date example. Capt. Tom Moore a 99 year old ex soldier who had served in the Second World War, decided he needed to do something to raise money for the NHS. So he planned to walk, aided by his walking frame, 100 laps of his garden to raise £1000. This morning I understand he has raised £21 million! God is there, with Capt Tom and with us. As He said to the Israelites: "I am your God, I will never leave you nor forsake you." Let us hold on to that assurance.
This coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect across the world. More than one million people have been infected and many thousands have died. Even political leaders are not exempt. The virus is not concerned about who you are, or how much money or power you have, everyone is equally vulnerable. Indeed, two of my friends have lost loved ones recently; a bit too close to home! A longtime friend lost his daughter to the virus and three days later his wife died. Although his wife's death was not Covid-19 related nevertheless the pain of losing them both so close together must be unbearable. With the current restrictions on movement in force I am unable to visit him t offer comfort and support. As a result I feel so helpless.
Nevertheless these restrictions do mean that we can find solace in the garden. In fact it was here that I saw God yesterday morning. As I was tending a flower bed a bud on the camelia that our daughter gave us, opened to reveal a beautiful deep pink flower. Of course, plants do this all the time but I don't think I have ever witnessed it at first hand. It seemed that God was saying that I do not need to worry about anything as He has everything in hand. I should just enjoy the garden since God will look after my friend and his family because God loves each and every member of His creation.
Thanks be to God.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years