First Word July/August 2023


Early summer is turning into the real thing before our eyes, and the beauty of the natural world is everywhere to behold. As I sit down to write for this joint July-August edition I had to first turn off the radio, as I am sure that like me many of you have found ourselves positively oppressed by the relentless bad news. We have all been through a very difficult few years, and for many people in the world covid has been the very least of their troubles. As the world tries to re-emerge from these challenges not unsurprisingly there are more challenges ahead, with pent up frustrations at the cost of living crisis and much else. It is clearly going to take time, and people will have to work together for the good of all especially the poorest and most vulnerable as we move forward, and it might help to remember to be grateful for what is good in life as often as report about what is not. More than ever now most people want a chance to rest, to find some solace, to take care of themselves for a little while. In scripture often this is called ‘waiting on the Lord’, where it is recognized that we can’t always be pushing, doing, worrying: sometimes we have to let go and be kind to ourselves, and let God show us the next steps. I think people, indeed societies have a great need of this, and of course for peace in all its forms. These summer months offer us a setting to rest and recover, even if we cannot get away, we can have days where we set aside time to wait, to be still and to try and break the cycle of worry, fear and conflict that seems to have gripped our collective imaginations. I am not the best person to tell others to rest, I find it very difficult too but I know that if we don’t then eventually we pay a heavy price for it. So I am going to try and build in a little downtime into every day this summer, whether it is an hour with a god book, or with a tea or wine in the garden, or just going for a walk. The Autumn will come soon enough, let’s rest and ready ourselves, and wait on the Lord. Fr Richad