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Reflection from Stephen Ayres

The view of over there from over here
Last Friday evening I met with some old friends who had come up from Canberra. We went to the surf lifesaving club. We sat upstairs in the warm evening air, looking out at a full moon shining on the sea, surrounded by happy laughing people all enjoying food and drink and company.
The previous day a work colleague, who like me comes from England, let me know that his wife’s father, who is still in England, had been rushed to ICU with a very low blood oxygen level and was in an induced coma. He and his wife had contracted COVID.
As I sat looking at the beautiful sea, I reflected on the land of my birth. November – cold and wet with darkness coming early in the afternoon. All over the country everyone going into lock-down again as thousands of cases of COVID are detected every day. The overstretched NHS that can barely cope during a normal winter, now desperately hoping that the lock-down will reduce the influx and give them the capacity they need so they don’t have to decide who will be treated and who will not. I have family and friends there.
In Church on Sunday the reading was from the Sermon on the Mount – all about blessings. I looked up the definition of a blessing, and found that it is ‘a prayer asking for divine favour and protection’. I thought about where I am now, where I have come from, and those I left behind and I remembered the hymn I used to sing at school, written in England in 1674: ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow..’ It is as true today as it was then, and I felt truly blessed.

Stephen Ayres (Parish Councillor)


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