What small action could you take this week, to brighten someone else's life? Here's our latest blog post from Licensed Lay Minister, Jude
This week I was making the journey from Bristol back to Tiverton Parkway after a day of birthday shopping and lunch with my lovely daughter. We had a great time, a super lunch and lots of fun in the massive Bristol Primark buying small Christmas presents for the family.
Then came the train journey, the day after a cancelled strike with disruptions and a 5-carriage train to take 2 days of travellers back to Plymouth.
It soon became obvious that the number of people on the platform versus space in carriages was very out of sync. Everyone piled on and people who had been thrown off a previous overcrowded train were given priority by others, and we set off.
I ended up standing in first class by a door next to a lovely man who had a first class ticket to Plymouth but no chance of a seat. With good humour he propped himself against the automatic closing doors to the corridor to give everyone more space, and water bottles were passed down the carriages as we balanced ourselves and joked about the situation. There was something rather ironic about the large comfortable first class seats and tables, the first class signs on each and the bodies everywhere crushed together.
It struck me afterwards that it was all a bit of an analogy of life. People having fun, travelling to do things and then everything goes topsy turvy. What matters then is how we deal with the unexpected, the sadness, the loss, the change of plan and how we help others alongside us.
That led me to a train (sorry!) of thought about the sad news of the death of Trevor Maunder and the reaction of those who knew him and met him. He was a man who had known lots of sadness in his life and many challenges but also managed to have fun, to laugh, to enjoy days out and birthdays. He had such a lovely smile that was infectious, a real love of prayer, of worship and of Jesus, an appreciation for his carers and all they did for him and people who came alongside him.
As Christians we can make a difference in so many small ways for people around us, making the Kingdom on earth here now. We can give hope and relieve suffering now, turning difficult situations into better ones, bringing some colour and light where there is darkness and despair. Each little bit like the kind man on the train changes our world for the better and brings it nearer to what Jesus strived for in his earthly life and asks us to continue
Stronger than that we are called to work alongside or help in some way those suffering, poverty, injustice, the effects of war, persecution and imprisonment.
Any small step we can make alleviates suffering and brings God's light and his Kingdom nearer for people to see for themselves and experience, changing despair to hope.
Have a good week! Jude (Licensed Lay Minister)