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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

11 November 2020: Irene Jeffery, Saint Laurence Catholic Church

Humility, gratitude and faith

Who could have guessed this time last year what 2020 had in store, not just here, but worldwide? Yes, there had been faint rumblings on the horizon, but who was listening? Destructive, raging winds and torrential downpours across the Atlantic, to create havoc... ah, but not here in the safety of the south... oh no! Far away, 'up north’; devastating fires destroying forests and homesteads... ah, but not over here... oh no! Far away crossing the sea, in Australia, in America... giant locusts ravishing crops... not here, of course... far away in India. Climate change, icebergs melting at unprecedented rates, sea levels rising out of control, pollution with all its implications... ah, but that surely is just a distant menace... not here... not now.

But something came, out of the blue, to burst our little bubble of complacency: a plague, unbeknown to the world, whose advance could only be guessed at, whose cure could only be longed for. So, where was God in all this? Was He perhaps showing us that, despite all our arrogance and self-aggrandisement as a human race, we have so many lessons to learn?

Hopefully, always slowly, often reluctantly, we are learning these lessons and will continue to do so: taking joy in simplicity, looking up at an arrowhead of migrating geese honking their way home; looking around at the autumn countryside in its mantle of amber and rust; looking over at others more in need than ourselves and looking forward to returning one day to 'how things were' , but with more humility, more gratitude, more faith.

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