It’s time to conclude our ‘Stories from lockdown’ as we all move towards yet another new phase – being able to meet together again! My furlough has ended and I’m no longer eating shoes! (See the ‘stories from lockdown’ introduction!) Lockdown was suddenly upon us and the way we did things changed overnight, but it seems to me that this next phase will happen gradually and will necessarily involve small gatherings at first and lots of fresh air! These could be very valuable times as meeting with one or two families or a small group of children will give lots of opportunities for conversation and deepening relationships. There will be challenges but God will show us the way.
One of the first things I did on the day work re-started was to email a letter to all the families. I really want to see them again – I had only been in my post for three months before lockdown and furlough began. Some of their replies show me that I need to be patient though. They do want to meet up but many are tired and busy juggling so much at the moment. One of their priorities is re-connecting with grand-parents and close family members. This is absolutely right and I may just have to wait, and to trust that God is holding this very new ministry and keeping it safe – but just as when Jesus held the five loaves and small fish in his hands before he fed five thousand plus people with them, we don’t know what he’s going to do with it yet. He knows though, and that’s enough to be going on with!
There’s fresh air ahead in more ways than one – firstly because meeting outside as much as possible seems a good and sensible way forward, and secondly because we need the fresh air of the Holy Spirit to inspire these new steps. He has continued to work throughout lockdown and he will surprise us beyond it!