Thought for the day 9 July

July 9

Opened the front door yesterday to find a pile of feathers and bits of mud lying on the front doorstep. It transpired that house martins had built a nest in the apex of the gable, but a large part of it had collapsed and fallen to the ground. Don’t know why, don’t know if there were any fledglings which died as a result, but still the birds were flying to and fro to the remains of the nest, looking as though they were bringing food. It may have been an automatic action, which didn’t take account of the collapse of the nest, or it may have been that amid the chaos and disaster life was clinging on and they were doing their bit to make sure their wee one(s) survived. I like to think it’s the latter, and that it is a reminder to us that amid all the chaos and disaster in the world (due to Covid, politics, climate change, etc) there is an innate resilience in people to cling on and struggle to survive

 

Lord, there are so many people in the world, in our country, in our community, who are struggling to survive. May they have the resilience, the inner strength and determination, to keep going, and may they get the help and support they need. Open the eyes of governments, open our eyes, to see what we can do

 

Thought for the day 8 July

July 8

Young people finishing school or college and looking for a job or apprenticeship, young people still at school or college looking for holiday, weekend or evening work to boost their income and give them work experience for their CV, young people who had already left school or college and were working. It is reported that between lockdown in March and the end of May the number of people 24 or younger on Universal Credit stood at 500,000. It may well be higher now. Some may have family behind them to offer support, many may not. What hopes and dreams were dashed? What stresses created? What will be the longer-term impact? We are to hear today plans to focus funding at the needs of young people. Much of the comment afterwards will be on the schemes and the money. But let’s remember the people. Is there anything that we can do to help them?

 

Lord, amid all the talk of schemes and sums of money, help us to remember the people, their feelings, their needs. Inspire us to do what we can to help them

 

Thought for the day 7 July

July 7

Ideas have been drip-fed, and the media are speculating, about what the Chancellor will say tomorrow regarding measures to protect/ stimulate the economy. Statistics, prices and interest rates are quoted, but at the end of the day it comes down to people, their livelihoods, money to pay for basic necessities, a sense of well-being rooted in job satisfaction. Let’s hope that amid all the strategic thinking and planning there is also recognition that people’s lives and well-being are at stake

 

Lord, trying to manage and develop an economy is hard at any time, but especially at the moment, after months of lockdown, the loss of many jobs and fears for the future of others. We pray that those who are making the decisions will have the wisdom and compassion they need, and that those who have lost their jobs/ job opportunities/ income, or who are at risk of losing them, will receive the support they need

 

Thought for the day 6 July

July 6

The NHS was 72 years-old yesterday. It had been suggested that after clapping for key workers, neighbours should raise a glass or mug to toast them and each other. Not in any street anyway, with a torrential downpour at the appropriate moment! We want to express our thanks and support for NHS staff, social care staff and all other key workers, both during the pandemic and at other times, when they have tended to be ignored in favour of ‘celebrities’. Let’s hope (and lobby?) that they receive appropriate recompense and treatment in the future

 

Lord, you love and value everyone, but have a special concern for those who are weak, vulnerable, ignored. During this pandemic we have seen the importance of those whose contribution is usually ignored. Help us to keep that recognition as things hopefully improve

 

Thought for the day 4 July

July 4

Where shall we go today, with our new-found freedom? Weather, public transport, age, mobility, availability of ‘facilities’ may all have an impact on our answer, but we have the freedom to travel (almost) anywhere. The restrictions of the last few months reminded us of a freedom we usually take for granted. For reasons of health or mobility some people here cannot get out and about. Also, there are many people round the world who do not have that kind of freedom. Instead of just thinking about what we can or cannot do, let’s think about them today

 

Lord, as we begin to exercise our freedom to roam, help us to remember those who cannot travel here because of reasons of health, mobility etc, and those in other countries whose movements are restricted by governments

 

PS Benmore Gardens re-opened this week. Next week we are off again, calling at Wemyss Bay to pick up some more passengers

 

Thought fr the day 3 July

July 3

We can travel more than 5 miles today ‘for leisure’! So it rains. Can we read into it a hint that we don’t go mad with our new-found freedom, overwhelm beauty spots, and leave a trail of litter around the countryside?

 

Lord, we appreciate the ability to travel further from today. Hopefully it will help many folk who are feeling deeply the stress of being confined. Help us to use our freedom wisely

 

Thought for the day 2 July

July 2

Waiting, wondering. Will The First Minister announce an easing of the physical distancing rules today (some businesses would like it, it might make it easier to accommodate children in school classes, but some people will be very worried if it happens)? Will the number of infections in Scotland dip to nil soon, or will there be new spikes (as has been seen round the world)? What will be the impact of lifting the 5-mile travel restriction tomorrow or lifting quarantine restrictions for people travelling to Britain/ returning from holidays abroad? Lots of questions, and we don’t know the answers. We can only hope, wash our hands and try to be very careful

 

Lord, so much of life is uncertain, and not just now. Help us to be careful, think of others, and trust you

 

Thought for the day 1 July

July 1

Ask most people how they are feeling, how they are coping, and the answer is likely to be some variant on ‘weary’. We want to be able to meet up with friends and family, go places, do things that we would have done before, or particularly at this time of the year. We want life to get back to ‘normal’. But how many of us moaned about life before Covid-19 appeared on the scene? It wasn’t really perfect was it? So what would we like changed? (Can you make a list of 10 things, or 20 things, or more, that you would like to see changed when we go to the new ‘normal’?) What are you going to do about getting those changes made? Which MP, MSP or Councillor will you lobby today? And tomorrow..?

 

Lord, help us to picture the changes we would like to see in our community, country and world. Galvanise us to do something about it

 

Thought for the day 30 June

June 30

Leicester was a bit like a blast of cold air on a hot day. Restrictions re-imposed, ‘non-essential’ (that phrase again!) shops to close, schools to close etc, and be reviewed in two weeks. Leicester may not be in Scotland, the situation there may be different from here, but it is a reminder of what could happen here if there are localised ‘second spikes’ or even a widespread one. The disruption, disappointment, despair that could be caused are hard to imagine. It is a reminder to keep up the hand-washing etc, and not become blasé about the continuing danger of Covid-19. It is a reminder too that until we have an effective vaccine, life will not be ‘normal’

 

Lord, help us to accept that for some time to come life will not be ‘normal’, for some time to come it is essential that we observe all the guidelines on hygiene etc. Be with all who are troubled and disturbed by this, may they know the reassurance of your presence with them

 

Thought for the day 29 June

June 29

We will see various changes this week designed to ease lockdown restrictions: a number of shops will be re-opening today (who thought up the term ‘non-essential’? It is very disparaging to staff and owners who work hard to meet the needs of the wider public) and on Friday the five-mile travel restriction will be lifted. There will be changes to the furlough regulations on Wednesday. Some people have been made redundant, some are expecting to receive notices of redundancy soon. All of that will produce mixed feelings across the country – sometimes in the one household, or one person. Some may be excited and feel positive, some feel worried and afraid for the future. It is a time for us all to be sensitive to others and how they are feeling, as well as sensible about sticking to the guidelines currently in place

 

Lord, whatever we feel about the changes planned this week, help us to be sensitive to the feelings of others – whether they are feeling relief at easing of restrictions, or worried about the future. (And help us to impart to people that they are all ‘essential’ to our community and country)