April 27th

How are you coping with isolation? There are those for whom this is a time of considerable difficulty. If we ourselves are powerless to help, let’s express our concern for them to God.

But how does your isolation compare with the experience of someone like Terry Waite who was held as a hostage for five years, mostly in solitary confinement. With nothing to read for well over two years, one day one of his captors threw down a book. The title? “Great Escapes”!

Or what do we endure at present compared with Colonel “Fred” Carne and his men of the 1st Battalion of the ‘Glosters and the privations they endured for two years as POWs of the Chinese in the Korean War? Carne sat outside his hut in bitter cold carving a small stone cross with a makeshift hammer and a couple of rusty nails. He gifted it to the padre to use in the prisoners’ services of worship.

There are many others around the world shut away, locked up by slave-masters or fearful regimes, of whom we never hear. Maybe no-one even knows they are there.

A steady stream of “funnies” come to Rachel’s computer through her sister in New Zealand. This one just arrived:

I’ve seen better days, but I’ve also seen worse.
I don’t have everything that I want, but I do have all I need.
I woke up with some aches and pains, but I woke up.
My life may not be perfect, but I am blessed.

Yes, we are blessed. Thank God!

David Bell