Australia - it's difficult to even find appropriate words : catastrophic, devastating, heartbreaking. It all feels very inadequate. Pray and hope. Maybe these are the best.A New Year dawns, well, rather dully, to be honest - but it's a fresh page in the calendar. Do we try and make individual resolutions we're pretty sure we're not going to keep for very long, or do we adjust the framework within which we attempt to make those resolutions? There's no point striving to do something that just will not stick - you can't paint a dirty wall and expect to be happy with the results. You need to clean the wall first, give it a scrub, fill in the cracks, make it smooth and ready to accept that change of colour. Even if all your time and effort is spent preparing and you never get that final coat of colour on, it's not time wasted, it's making constant small improvements, honing your skills, making a difference.
Love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind; Love your neighbour as yourself - this is
the only manifesto that can be truly believed, that can honestly be enacted, that will always, always make a difference.
Small boats continue to cross the Channel with a pitiful cargo - shipped over the Channel like yet another disposable commodity, just a means for organised crime to make money. No one, no one,
leaves everything they have behind, hands over all their life savings
to someone they know has no interest in whether they reach their
destination dead or alive, just on a whim. People are desperate. People
Traffickers trade in misery and the consequences of events beyond our
horizon. It's a global issue fuelled by war, poverty, climate change,
descrimination and social division. Don't just treat the symptoms,
treat the disease.
There are now more foodbanks than MacDonald's in the UK - is it OK to be both horrified at the need and heartened by the generosity?
When the weather is awful, if you're homeless the wet is worse than the cold -
you get wet, your few possessions get wet, your sleeping bag gets wet. You get cold, you can't get dry and warm. You get ill. You die. That's the reality of living on the streets. Over 44 years old (42 if you're female)? You're living on borrowed time, already past the mean age at death of a homeless person in the UK.
If you see someone on the streets please report them to the authorities by using
to connect them to people who can offer help. Have a dig around your cupboards - is there a waterproof coat hanging there you haven't worn in a while? Do you really need more than one? How many umbrellas do you have? You can only hold one at once. Put things to better use than just taking up cupboard space. Give someone a roll of strong bin liners to put their things in. Make a donation to one of the local charities that do wonderful work with the vulnerable. There is always something you can do to make a difference to someone else.
1.6million food parcels issued by Trussell Trust Food Banks in 2018 - that's up from 41,000 in 2010. I'll just let that sink in.
Saw this... ...thought it was kind of lovely.