Vicar's Letter - July 2020

Vicar's Letter – July 2020

Sir Laurens Jan van der Post - farmer, soldier, political adviser to British heads of government, close friend of Prince Charles, godfather of Prince William, educator, journalist, author, humanitarian, philosopher, explorer and conservationist – when in his eighties, was walking through one of the remaining wild parts of his beloved Africa.  His companion referred gently to his age and asked, ‘Laurens, are you looking at all this as though it might be the last time you see it?’

‘Yes, there’s always that thought,’ Laurens replied, ‘But it’s much more important to try and see it as though for the first time.’

How true – there’s more wonder in it that way.  To see something you love, as you did for the first time.  The joy of discovery, the sudden breathtaking revelation of beauty – whether a view of nature, a painting, a piece of music, or a person.

I went for a walk the other day with some friends and I asked them what they thought we might learn as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.  They said ‘Not to forget our glimpse of what the really important things in life were.’

Covid-19 has forced us to stop and slow down and see things as if for the first time.

We grow used to things, to people.  We grow comfortable with them.  It’s a good thing in its own way – a quieter, different kind of love.  But that can slip imperceptibly, dangerously, into a taking for granted - into a lack of appreciation.

In Mark’s gospel, chapter 8 (verses 22-25), there is a wonderful account of Jesus healing a blind man.  The passage is deliberately sandwiched between two other passages which tell of the inability of Jesus’ disciples to see clearly the truth that was before them.

If anything good is to come out of the disaster that Covid-19 has been it is the opportunity to see more clearly a new view of the world, and of people - a new vision of what creation was meant to be - something glorious and full of beauty.  A world of wonder and delight, and to reflect upon what we have made of it, and what we should make of it.


Yours in Christ