Expectations and the Lockdown – moving the goalposts
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
The Enthronement of Bishop Richard, birthday and anniversary parties, weddings, VE Celebrations - we would all have had such great expectations of celebrating and sharing these very special occasions. They have not happened and instead we have looked at videos of ceremonies online, joined a zoom party, exchanged text messages, and received phone calls and cards in the loneliness of our self-isolation. We cannot pretend we’re not disappointed. We cannot pretend that we don’t feel upset about what we would have so much enjoyed and shared with our families and friends. We cannot pretend that we don’t feel frustrated about all the time spent so carefully planning something that simply isn’t going to happen.
We all had “high hopes” that may not have been just been “deferred” but totally destroyed by circumstances out of our control. In other words, the moment has now been lost for ever. For many people this has caused sadness and even depression. When we wait for something good to happen, that desire and expectation can turn to hopelessness and that can leave us empty and spiritually numb.
We need to find a way to refresh our empty spirit with a hope that can be fulfilled. For those of us who have faith, we can be still, focus on Jesus and pray for guidance on how we can lighten our spirit and renew our hope. We have to trust God and allow Him to work in our hearts. We can find comfort and so much support from scripture:
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
With the guidance of the Lord, we can find ways of moving the goal posts. Instead of that numbness of despair, we can plan in smaller steps and adjust our expectations. Instead of planning a big party or gathering we can make contact with a forgotten relative, friend or neighbour and lift each other’s spirits. We can revive an old talent or interest or learn a new one and then share the joy of the outcome with others through a photograph or phone call. By changing our expectations we can look forward in confidence to something that we know will happen. The tree of life represents the renewal of life. When our hopes and desires are fulfilled, we are refreshed. When our prayers are answered, we are encouraged, and when we obtain the good thing that we desire, our faith is strengthened and we can “soar high on wings like eagles”.
Celia Cundale, Churchwarden at Cusop
Bells and Prayers for all those who care
Most of our churches across the Borderlink Benefice are now able to share their community’s appreciation of the NHS by ringing a bell at 8pm on a Thursday, so listen out for them!
Ahead of 8pm, prayers will also be offered for those working in the NHS, in nursing homes, for carers working in the community, and those who are caring for loved ones at home. Might you pause for a few minutes ahead of 8pm to say a prayer for those who care?
We thank you for our health care professionals, carers and support staff working in hospitals, nursing homes and in our communities.
May you protect, strengthen, guide and comfort them.
This evening we pause to offer our gratitude for their skill, dedication and compassion.
May they receive the resources they need to do their role to the best of their ability.
This is now possible due to a recent easing of restrictions which allows one person to enter our church buildings to pray on behalf of their community and to ring a bell. Along with other community buildings, we await further news on when we may be able to open church buildings more fully.
We have received the sad news that Joan Waring has died, after 10 weeks of excellent care at St Michael’s Hospice. Joan’s graveside funeral will take place at Holy Trinity, Hardwicke where Joan was Christened and confirmed and where she and Ted were married. Joan’s family are planning a celebration of Joan’s life when larger gatherings are possible. Please do hold Ted and his sons Andrew, Robert and Mark and their families in your prayers.
Donations to Hereford Food Bank
Thank you for your generous support, after just two week we’ve collected 44 bags of food and toiletries from the benefice. Donations are collected from all our villages on a Wednesday. The Food Bank has advised this week that donations of pet food (dried or tinned) would also be very welcome.
Cusop & Hay Royal British Legion mark VE Day
Representatives of Cusop & Hay Royal British Legion, together Revd Luci, gathered at the Hay war memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The service which because of current restrictions sadly could not be advertised as a public event, included prayers, a poem recalling the sights and sounds of VE Day, 2 minutes silence and the sounding of The Last Post and Reveille. The event was recorded and a link to the recording can be found on the Hay Community Facebook page and will be posted on The Abbeydore Deanery YouTube channel.
The Link – June issue
As we continue to follow C of E guidelines on the distribution of parish magazines, the forthcoming issue of The Link will be in digital form. It will be emailed to all our regular congregation members, so please do forward the email to friends and neighbours who may appreciate keeping in touch with what’s happening across our villages. We will review the situation once again ahead of the July issue. Reacting to the current crises has caused us to question if we should continue to produce a digital version of The Link, alongside a printed version, for those who may prefer it. We plan to invite our parish correspondents and others involved in the creation of The Link to explore this idea, so watch this space.
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