Hairdressers

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio – 25th July 2020

This week I went to a hairdresser. Just for a trim, nothing major, but it was lovely to have that bit of pampering after they’ve had to close for so long. I’ve also read a letter this week on the internet that was written to a hairdresser. You might’ve seen it but if not, it was from a man who’d brought his wife in for a haircut. She was suffering from dementia and a few months later she sadly passed away. The man wanted to say, though, that she’d loved that haircut. It had made her feel so good about herself she couldn’t stop looking at herself and smiling. The man was very grateful and wanted to tell the hairdresser what a difference she’d made.

It was a lovely story, and really got me thinking about how we don’t always know when we might do something ordinary to us, but which makes a big difference to someone else. We should never underestimate what we can do for others just by doing our job with kindness or making a little bit of extra effort. On the other side, of course, how often do we thank people when they do something that’s helped us? We remember to be grateful for the big things but thanking people for things they might even have realised they’ve done can really make their day as well.

In the Bible Jesus talks about how small things can make a big difference, and about how we can build up a better world with the smallest and most ordinary of things. I think we can all get behind the idea of doing small things to make a big difference, and maybe one of them could be thanking someone for doing small that makes a big difference to us?

Wednesday Worship – 15 July 2020

People Jesus Met – Nicodemus

Hello!

After a week off I am back with another Wednesday Worship series. In this series I’m looking at ‘People Jesus Met’, starting with Nicodemus.

You can watch the video here:

A service sheet is here for those who would like one:

https://thoughtsfromareader.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Wednesday-Worship-15th-July.docx

Hope you find it helpful – let me know if you do.

Mel x

Control

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio – May 2020

Someone recently said something to me that I found very interesting. She said that ‘not being in control is not the same as being completely controlled’. I’d been talking to her about feeling powerless in the face of our current situation and how I felt like I’d had all control of my life taken away from me, but those words gave me a new perspective.

There are always things we can’t control. We can’t control weather, illness, accidents and many other things. But this doesn’t mean we’re at the mercy of blind forces and have no say in anything. We can dress properly for the weather we have, follow doctors’ advice to stay healthy, take precautions to reduce the chances of accidents, and so on.

And even in the face of Covid-19 we still have some control. We can choose how we will approach the challenges, whether we will act responsibly to help prevent its spread, what we do with our time at home, even down to small things like deciding to get properly dressed for the day. And we can choose whether we give up in despair or remain hopeful.

The Bible teaches that God is ultimately in control, but we still have freedom to make our own choices – good or bad. And the same is true in our current situation – we’re not completely in control but we’re not completely controlled either.

Community

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio – May 2020

A while ago I mentioned that I was getting a new bike and that I hadn’t ridden one for a long time, so I was a bit concerned that I might fall off. As it happens, I haven’t fallen off and I’ve really been enjoying cycling around. Most of the time the roads have been pretty empty of traffic, which helps, but last week things were different. I went out on VE Day for a ride and came across a socially distanced street party. Lots of people all down this normally very quiet road were out the front of their houses, eating and drinking, while kids rode around on bikes and scooters. It all looked like a lot of fun and really cheered me up.

So often, we think that no-one cares about their neighbours anymore but in times of crisis we see that this isn’t true. When it matters people often pull together, look out for each other, and try to find ways to interact. I remember people acting in a similar way during the Great Storm of 1987. I was living in Sussex at the time, which was badly hit, and my road was full of fallen trees. Then everyone started coming out to clear up the mess and help out with food and water, on a road where people tended to keep to themselves.

The Bible, of course, is big on loving your neighbour, and one reason for this is that it’s good for us to live in community and have meaningful relationships. This way we can find and give help when needed, have fun together and learn how to love one another better. I hope that when this pandemic is over we will all have made some new friendships and grown a bit closer to one another. That way, something good can come out of all this.

The A428: Thoughts on Planning

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio on 27th June 2020

This thought refers to long-awaited planning to upgrade a local road.

I’ve had a letter about the proposed Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements. People will have different views on them but there’s an impressive flyby and drive-through video on the Highways England website showing what it might look like.

I spend a lot of time on the A428 in normal times so I’m extremely interested in what might happen, and how easy it will be for me to get my coffee at the Caxton Gibbet roundabout. I would also like to see more detail about how cyclists can get around safely, given my new interest in cycling, as well as about the environmental impact.

According to the website most people are broadly in favour of the scheme, and I can understand why, as I’ve experienced many traffic jams on that road. It occurred to me, though, that this is a huge project. Being faced with something big and complex to do can be daunting for all of us, and therefore planning is needed, so that we can break the job down into smaller, more manageable tasks. As Henry Ford, of Ford cars, said: “Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small jobs”.

It can also help if we have someone on our side to encourage and help us. For me, I feel reassured by knowing that I have my local church community by my side for support, and I’m aware that in the Bible Jesus encourages us to plan before doing something difficult. We don’t need faith to plan, though, obviously, and we can find support in all sorts of places.

Perhaps now, as the lockdown is lifting, might be a good time for all of us to start planning for the future, not only about roads but also in other important areas of our lives.