On April 30 Captain Tom Moore celebrated his 100th birthday at home with his family. It was also commemorated by (amongst other things) the BBC, an RAF fly-past with a Spitfire and a Hurricane, a Number One hit record, an England cricket cap, approximately 140,000 birthday cards, including one from the Queen, the good wishes of the entire country, and an honorary promotion to Colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. We suppose we could say that it was a good day for Captain Tom – and for the NHS, for which he had raised over £30,000,000. But one tribute which seemed particularly powerful was paid to him by the Prime Minister, himself very lately recovered from the virus which has taken so many lives. He said that every day the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award is given to outstanding individual volunteers, and that Captain Tom was ‘a point of light in all our lives.’
Points of light are most clearly seen when the darkness is at its most overwhelming, so Captain Tom’s simple walk of thanks, given in gratitude for the services he had himself received from the NHS, was far more powerful in our current circumstances than it might have been at any other time. There is no doubt that for many of us these are very dark days, perhaps the most difficult we have experienced for many years, and certainly the strangest. After six weeks of lockdown, when we have been separated from those we love, deprived of physical touch and battling with loneliness, we may well have come to a point where we feel we have had enough. Some of us cannot even access the marvels of technology, so that the four walls of our houses might seem to shrink and smother us, even though we are grateful for the safety they provide.
So at this time we must recognize the sufferings of those of us who are locked in depression, anxiety and addiction, or ravaged by domestic abuse, bereavement and the sheer terror of not knowing if a loved one will survive. Our friend Peter Morden has written an article on his own experiences of depression after bereavement, and we include the link below – we recommend it whether or not you are struggling. As the church of the Saviour who made Himself vulnerable to all that the world could throw at Him, we cannot tell others to ‘pull themselves together’, or to ‘keep praising and smiling’. Jesus wept because He loved us, so how can we do otherwise? And Yet … as Christians we know for a certainty, that whatever happens, the love and light of our Lord Jesus will never fail us, even when we cannot feel or experience it. Faith as an act of the will, practised through gritted teeth and tears, is still faith. With the true spirit of his generation, Captain Tom has said that ‘tomorrow will be a good day, ’and for us this is not just positive thinking – it is truth. May the light that shines in the darkness be at its brightest for you, and may God keep us all in the hollow of His hand until we meet again.
With our love and prayers,
Matthew and Pauline
Discipleship & Darkness