Like many in the village, I have been working from home for the majority of 2020. My dining room table has doubled as my desk, which is covered with my
papers each morning, which are then cleared away each evening. It’s a daily ritual that, along with others, marks my day. I imagine that you also have similar
routines that structure your day, whatever shape it takes. I work by my patio doors, so there is usually good light and the natural world to distract me or to widen my horizon when I’m working on a problem. Unless I’m on a call, I will always get up to look if I hear one of the buzzards calling, soaring on a thermal.
In moments of pausing during this period, I have found myself thinking of two amazing women. The first is Corrie Ten Boom: in the Second World War, she and
her family, inspired by their Christian faith, provided refuge for many fugitives who were being hunted by the Nazis. In February 1944, the family was betrayed,
arrested and sent to concentration camps, where many of them died. Corrie survived. After the war she travelled the world speaking of her experiences and of
how the love of God that she felt was as real and as important as ever. The reason why I have thought of Corrie Ten Boom over this period of upheaval
is because of something that she said, which reminds me that I have control over this moment, despite what may be going on around me. She said:
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow
of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength”.
As we approach Christmas and 2021, with all their unknowns, if we are able to hold these words, we may glimpse behind the curtain to see what is real in the
moment. Whether this is in the Christmas story that means so much to so many and so much to Corrie Ten Boom, or not, you might want to consider the words of
the other amazing woman I’ve been thinking of – the poet Mary Oliver:
“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it”.
God bless this Christmas and New Year.
Corin Redsell (Associate Minister in the Lordsbridge Team)