May the tenth XV

10 May

Fifteen years –

the span of my adulthood.

Still gets me

when I don’t think it should.

A day like that splits time apart;

you stay and move on,

you stop and you start.

You’ll always be


a small part of me

will too.

Vaccination and the New Covenant

2 Mar

For the last year, we’ve all been living in a demanding world of rules that affect everything we do.

No touching!

Stay two meters apart!

Stand behind the screen!

Masks mandatory in here!

No visitors!

Keep moving!

Wash your hands for 20 seconds! And use the sanitiser!

Every hour of every day, we’re exhorted to watch our behaviour, rely on strict adherence to the rules to stay safe and remain clean. It’s all a bit… Old Testament.

And suddenly, at the dawn of 2021, something new comes in. Vaccination. A new way to be saved. Imagine for a moment that the vaccine is 100% effective at protecting you from Covid. Through no merit of your own, whether you observed all the lockdown rules or not, somebody from the NHS gives you a vaccination for free, and now – now the old covenant of social distancing is no longer needed. There’s nothing you need to do to keep yourself clean anymore. You can’t be infected from the outside. Your protection is in your blood. You just have to trust that and go out and live. That’s rather… New Testament.

As we cross over into our protection coming from vaccination instead of from the things we do, I think a lot of us will still feel uneasy. After what seems like the longest year of all these life-changing restrictions, it’s hard to truly believe that having a vaccination can work. It’s too simple. Too good to be true. Imagine: we’re actually now free to hug, be in a crowd, have a party?! It feels almost uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel safe to trust in something you can’t see, something you can’t affect by your own behaviour. I think we like the feeling of control that comes with observing rules, even though it’s harder. We can stay inside, we can wipe down our shopping, we can hold back from hugs – we can rely on ourselves.

“Why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2)

“how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you.” (Galatians 4)

Why would on earth would we rather live that way? This is the problem that even seasoned Christians have with the new covenant. Thanks to the Covid purity laws, I kind of get it now. We all hate social distancing, but we’re too scared to stop it. We want to worry and try hard; avoid the unclean, tithe, sanitise our hands and feel in control. After a lifetime of this, it’s really hard to let go and trust someone else. And it’s really hard to believe we could be free. But… we could be free.

“we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5) 


The fact that

15 May

The fact that it’s day 52 of lockdown and I’m still reading Ducks, Newburyport, the fact that I’m only half way through, maybe a little less, the fact that actually I’m on page 438 but that doesn’t seem like much for 52 days, the fact that to be fair it is a very long book, maybe that’s not too bad, stream of consciousness, no full stops, the fact that it’s much less than I used to read though, the fact that I just don’t seem to get a moment to read properly, only in the bath and that’s maybe twice a week, max, the fact that it’s not a relaxing book to read before bed, the fact that I just can’t read when Ellen’s there nagging me all day long, the fact that I used to read a lot more and be much more cultured and interesting and have I just given up maybe, nagging, looking for tiny toys, the fact that it must be the same for most mums but I miss my past, interesting self, baths, eczema, wrong emollient, lockdown at the pharmacy, the fact that Tom does better but he’s a fast reader, like Hannah, the fact that I’m glad Hannah got Ducks, Newburyport after I recommended it to her and she says she can relate, the fact that I thought it might be a bit too close to the bone and stressful for her to read, baking, pies, calling Hannah from the car, too hot for the dog to sit in the car with me, bookmark, the fact that you have to use a bookmark with this book otherwise you’d never find your place, the fact that I don’t usually bother but I’ve made an exception just for Ducks, Newburyport, dog, let him out for a wee, has he been, check for hedgehogs first though even though he usually ignores them, will I finish it before the lockdown ends, the book, not the wee, the fact that I don’t think so but it would be a good achievement if I did, the fact that I thought about starting another book too but then I’d never get through it, Ellen going back to preschool, find more time, the fact that I should write something too instead of always just faffing around on the internet and eating biscuits,