I thought this would be an easy one – writing letters, postcards, whatever to people we haven’t been in contact with recently. Build a bridge, make the first step…pen out, cards at the ready, done-and-dusted.
Oh. Wait. No, it’s not that…
Today we’ve chosen two groups of people who could do with being remembered. Prisoners: isolated because of their own wrongdoing. Victims of domestic abuse: isolated because of someone else’s. Both groups need to know they aren’t forgotten, or lost. We’ve all been given grace, and today we’re extending that grace and friendship elsewhere.
Start small: If you can’t get a letter of encouragement to someone today, spend five minutes praying for them instead.
I’ve got an hour: Write a simple letter to a prisoner or a family in a refuge. Make it encouraging, positive and genuine.
I’ve got an hour and some money:Write a letter and then either commit to writing a letter each month or search for a domestic abuse charity or prison intervention programme and set up a monthly direct debit to support them.
Hmm. Not so easy then.
Thankfully, I have never been a victim of serious crime, nor of domestic abuse, and (as far as I know) these things have not touched my family or friends either. But I have always been humbled when I read of those who have found it in their hearts to forgive the people who hurt them so terribly, whether through murder, rape, sexual abuse, theft or other crimes. I don’t know if I could ever do it, even with the grace of God behind me. There is a woman who was involved in something that hurt my family badly: I think I have forgiven her but it has taken a long time. Something that was as serious as a crime? Well, that would take more strength than I have!
People have already commented on the FB page how difficult this challenge is: I would imagine if your lives have been touched by domestic abuse or serious crime then it becomes much more personal, and therefore much more difficult.
For me, the difficulty is just deciding what I can do. Just sending money seems a cop out, but volunteering is not a viable option. I know that, however keen I am now, I would not be able to keep up the commitment of writing a letter every month. Better, I feel, not to start than to start and peter out, disappointing someone who does not need more failure in their lives.
I think that a donation to either The Sycamore Tree, or to the Women’s Refuge that have been linked to – but maybe also some cards as well – would be the way to go…There doesn’t seem to be much in the local area, that isn’t fully state supported, so I’m not sure that is calling me. I don’t want to just “put it to one side” to be considered, because if I do that I suspect nothing will happen. I’m very good at conveniently forgetting awkward things!
And on another note I that a petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson to the BBC show “Top Gear”is gaining momentum online. Whatever I think about Mr Clarkson and his antics (suffice to say, I won’t be signing the petition!) I just wish that other online petitions for much worthier causes gained so much publicity!
Here’s one that you might find more to your taste…I meant to blog about it earlier in the week, but didn’t.
I signed the campaign: Stand #UpForSchool – part of the #UpForSchool petition, because I know that education changes lives. All over the world, children are missing out on the learning that would help protect them from poverty and give them the best chance of building the life they want for themselves.
Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to make the right to a basic education a reality for every child globally.In 2015, we’ve got an opportunity to make sure that all children have the chance to get the education they need to thrive. If we succeed, we’ll soon live in a world where everyone can learn to read, write and master the skills most of us rely on every day.
Will you join me in making a message no government, politician or leader can ignore?