Posted on May 20th, 2020
by Biggleswade Baptist Church
Monty Don, the British television presenter, writer and speaker on horticulture, best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardeners’ World was talking on BBC Breakfast on Monday. At the start of ‘Mental Health Awareness week’ he was advocating the benefits of embracing the garden and outdoors at a time when the rhythm and pattern of our daily lives has been interrupted by COVID-19 and triggering feelings of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. He encouraged viewers to ‘tap into the circuit of life – nature’s life cycle which he described as wise, constant and dependable.
It’s hardly surprising that by connecting with nature (be it the garden, the open space on our estate or the local woods), we experience a connection with its Creator – the God who gives the trees and flowers their bloom and the birds their song.
There are neighbours and friends, however in our community that are struggling to get out of bed or their front door during lockdown and who need to know they are loved and connect with the Creator who gives us life. We are challenged to bring the ‘Good News’; to share something of God’s love with those around us.
Kindness, a fruit of the Spirit and also the theme chosen for Mental Health Awareness week because of its ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. Since lockdown, I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to small acts of kindness in and through my role as Church and Community Worker. With opportunities to queue and collect medication, food and resources for isolated families and individuals; to be on the end of a phone for a single mum on the edge or to simply be a listening ear on a front door step, it reminds me that people see a glimpse of Jesus and experience the power of His love through a thoughtful gesture. ‘We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
This is such a time, a time God prepared for us in advance. In God’s Kingdom, He blesses both the giver and receiver as I was reminded last week. Having delivered some medication and food on a household’s doorstep, the youngest member darted out of the house in his excitement to see me, and after demonstrating his gymnastic skills, promptly picked a buttercup from the front lawn and presenting it to me, declared ‘This is for you – thank you for helping us’.
What act of kindness will give those around you a glimpse of Jesus this week?