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Viewpoint from Mary Ives 24/04/2019

MARY GILBERTMary Ives
Lay Minister in the Church of England
licensed to Belton and Burgh Castle


as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury
 

As I sit to write this, I am coming to terms with the fact that life has changed so much in a short time! What we usually take for granted we can no longer. There is nothing that feels secure or safe – just going outside our doors could feel hazardous, and many are just not allowed to go
 
dove leftOne of the things I miss most is going to the gym daily for some form of exercise – something I have been doing for about 6 years. Trying to keep some sort of normality my husband and I have taken to going out before many people are up to take a walk in a secluded part of the countryside, ensuring we are on wide paths where we can socially isolate should we meet a dog walker. Whilst we have been on our walks, I have allowed time and space for God to speak to me. Even though everything around seems chaotic, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the animals are skittering around – new life is coming into being
 
No, given a choice I would not want to live in this way. Nor is it the way Jesus taught me to live. As a Christian I am called to be the hands of feet of Jesus to those around me. Not easy when I’m self-isolating!  
 
Dove rightWhat can I do? I can pray. I can learn to trust God in a way I have never known before. I can encourage others with phone calls, messages or pictures taken on my early morning walks. At one time I thought that the world was going mad by having this easy connectivity, but now I am so glad – we might not see each other face to face but we can still encourage each other using our amazing technology. Church hasn’t stopped because of our situation – it has grown stronger. More people are tuning in to regular services and prayer slots than the numbers who might attend church in person on Sundays. Don’t underestimate God
 
I have been reading from Psalms. Psalm 91 opens like this ‘Whoever rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One. I will say about the Lord “He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him”.  Perhaps you could personalise this and pray that for yourself

 

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