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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

21 October 2020: Judy Stephens, Attender, Alton and Petersfield Quaker Meeting

A Way of Life

In contrast to the shock, anxiety and pain of the first lockdown in March, we were blessed and helped by a glorious warm early Spring. Under an empty sky, we were taken aback by our suddenly silent world, had to listen, take stock, rethink values: kindness and neighbourliness, respect and appreciation of others became important. We had to dig deep within ourselves to find resilience, resources and skills we didn’t know we had. Thinking positively took courage: Captain Sir Tom showed us how small steps can lead to amazing results.

Second time around with increasing restrictions, cooler and darker months to come, it might not be so easy to find those small steps. As social beings, people want to be seeing family and friends, children and grandparents do not want to miss out on that wonderful cross-generation link. We want to laugh and share our joys and our sorrows.

Dame Judi Dench mentioned on her 80th birthday that she would only talk of the things she could do, not talk of the things she could no longer do. A little achievement will give encouragement and be more effective than lists of depressing ‘can’t dos’. From small beginnings we can grow within, as it is never too late to listen and learn.

Everyone is different and special in some way, yet we are all in the same boat. The Quaker approach in their ’Advices and Queries’ prompts a look at our day-to-day lives. “Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experiences of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come?”

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