Paul Clough from Gyffin finds some helpful perspective on today’s troubles by drawing on a powerful memory…
nac einioes, nac angylion na thywysogaethau,
na’r presennol na’r dyfodol, na grymusterau
nac uchelderau na dyfnderau,
na dim arall a grewyd,
ein gwahanu ni oddi wrth gariad Duw
yng Nghrist Iesu ein Harglwydd.’
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
Isolation is not new for me. At the age of four I remember being diagnosed with Scarlet Fever and sent to Bradford’s Isolation Hospital. Visiting hour consisted of parents looking and talking outside the window of the ward. No chance of a hug or a kiss, and just sign language and a muffled conversation. Nevertheless, whilst there was a barrier between us, they were there every day, encouraging, bringing gifts of sweets, chocolates and toys. I was in hospital for two weeks.
Lately I have been reminded of these events which form one of my earliest memories. Today many are isolated with the virus lock-down. Hard as that is, my experience points to the truth and reality of our relationship with God. However lonely we feel, God is still there, just like my loving parents were. He is, metaphorically, on the other side of the window talking to us even if sometimes that voice is indistinct. Every day God is giving us encouragement, a deep assurance of His love and care for our wellbeing.
He is also making the promise that these barriers are only temporary. Eventually our physical isolation will end and so will the spiritual barriers between us and Him. For we have a future and a hope as members of the family of God.
y datguddiodd dy Fab mewn arwyddion a gwyrthiau
ryfeddod dy bresenoldeb achubol,
adnewydda dy bobl â’th ras nefol,
ac yn ein holl wendid,
cynnal ni â’th allu nerthol;
trwy Iesu Grist dy Fab ein Harglwydd,
sy’n fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi,
yn undod yr Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth.
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.