by Jade Cocks
What a time we are living in! I remember our first Sunday when restrictions were just starting to come into place, and we were unable to meet in our church building but were still allowed to gather outside (whilst maintaining the appropriate distance). It was a lovely morning outside, singing praises to our Saviour. After the service a few of us were talking about how best to reach out to our church families and in particular the children. I remember saying I couldn’t imagine it could change too much and hopefully we would just keep meeting outside and have packs for our children, sending them to those who couldn’t come. How wrong was I! That next week brought so much change and all of a sudden, we were faced with not being able to meet together at all. These restrictions are affecting us all, however, I am finding that they are not affecting us all the same way.
As an introvert who spends most of my time with people, I actually long for the opportunity of being able to spend more time quietly at home. I do love people, but I also get to the point where I need time away on my own. Even in these times, quiet alone time is something I rarely have, with both my work roles at school and Kindy requiring me to still be at the workplace each day. For me, I struggle not to envy those who get to stay at home. I see families who can spend time making cards and gifts and dropping off care packages, and I long to be able to be one of those. And yet, God has called me to a different path, and I need to discern how I can serve God and minister to others in the roles I am in.
Then there are those who are extroverts who are really struggling because they are stuck at home and they long to get out and be amongst people. They miss the interactions and possibly wish they could be getting out of the house each day like I can and go to a workplace filled with people.
Or what about those who are juggling their own work from home, and now also helping their children learn from home? Life has suddenly become a lot more complicated!
We each are facing a challenge. Life is not the same as it was 6 months ago, or even 3 months ago! We are having to think harder about what we are doing, how we do it and come up with new ways to do what once was second nature. Sometimes when we face challenges, we can get caught up in our own mountain that we are climbing and forget to be kind and compassionate towards others. We forget that they too face challenges in their journey and that God wants us to help one another, to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Colossians 3:12-17 describes how we as God’s children should be treating one another. We are called to be compassionate, kind, humble, meek and patient. We are to bear with one another, forgive one another and love one another. Is that how we are treating others?
At school this year I have been running a Kindness project with a different challenge each week to practice kindness. It has been so encouraging to see the children each week get excited about showing kindness to others. This week can I encourage you, no matter what circumstances or challenges you are facing, to take the time to look for ways that you can practice kindness. There is no doubt about it, this coronavirus is affecting us all in different ways, but we are in this together. Be kind to others and compassionate. You don’t know the struggles others face, but you can reach out with God’s love to others, with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
Jade Cocks is married to Josh who is the Pastor of Beaudesert Baptist Church and mother of three teenage children. With her passion for Jesus and desire to shine His light, Jade runs the children’s ministries at her church and is the local school Chappy.
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