As I battled with technology this morning I remembered the wise words of my Grandmother when my mother bought an electric kettle. “It’ll never catch on. Everyone knows that water and electricity don’t go together.” Of course she was wrong.
I’ve done it too; I was very reluctant to change from records to tape and then again to CD’s. I took a long time to give up my old camera and move to digital but, of course, that has taken off.
We are all trying to master new technology to keep in touch with friends and family and of course we are now doing church online and using systems such as Zoom, Facetime and Skype to keep in touch, have meetings and even GP appointments.
I am a reluctant user of technology that is new to me. I like the things I know but in these unusual times I recognise that I have to move on, out of my comfort zone. I was rung by an elderly gentleman this morning who was not known to me but had seen a Keystone leaflet somewhere and noted the phone number in the hope of someone to talk too. He doesn’t have a computer so email, Facetime, Facebook etc are all alien to him. He feels cut off, alone and fearful. I was on the phone to him for quite a while and at times my mind wandered to thinking about the things I had to do; a cake to make, washing to put in, Chris Packham to watch and something to send out with an encouraging thought.
And then it came to me – this is what I should be doing today. Listening to this man with his fears and loneliness and offering what comfort I could. A few weeks ago I was reading the book of Esther and as I listened this morning I remembered this verse from Esther 4 “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” For such a time as this. My place at that time this morning was with this gentleman. Everything else could wait.
I want to remind you all that not everyone has a computer; not everyone who has a computer can use Facetime or Zoom or any other app to contact people. What we can all use is a telephone so pick it up and keep in touch.
A prayer and blessing from Malcolm Duncan for today.
Father, Hold us through the darkness of these unknown days.
Give us faith to remember that you are here even when we do not feel You or see You. We pray for those who are afraid – bring them peace and strength. We pray for those who face huge responsibility – give them courage. We pray for those who have to say goodbye – give them comfort. Hold before us the promise that the night does not last forever.
We lift those who we know and love to You and ask You to embrace them with Your love.
We ask for all those who are struggling and suffering – be their song in the night, even if that song is a lament.
And a blessing.
May you be held through the darkest moments of the night, and may you remember that morning will come. As you walk through shadows and uncertainty and face the unknown, may the light of God’s grace and the whisper of God’s promise hold you steady. May you watch for the dawn.