2 minutes reading time (416 words)

A Litany of thanks

I know, it's not always helpful to be told that, whatever is going on in our lives, we must be thankful. Sometimes this approach invites a short and unprintable reply. A bit like being told we have to love one another, enforced thankfulness is a pain.

On the "Love one another" theme ... I remember, as an earnest young curate, preaching on the need to love our neighbour, only to hear an elderly lady in the front row say in a stage whisper: "Love my neighbour? I bleedin' hate her!"

Anyway - at a time when it's easy (but totally misleading) to think that our country is mainly populated by online trolls, panic buyers and social-distancing refuseniks, there really are a lot of people, and things, to be thankful for. Here are a few I've thought of - please add your own...

- The BBC, and all truthful reporting and journalism. There is still plenty of it!

- Our families, friends and neighbours, and all small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness

- The staff in care homes across the country, many of them low-paid, as they care for vulnerable people

- All the people doing easily overlooked jobs that are actually essential: bin men, pharmacists, delivery drivers, supermarket and shop staff, and more...

- The extraordinary resilience and cheerfulness of so many ordinary people

The beauty of the natural world around us, and the way it just carries on...

- The chance to do less, think more, read more

- Board games! Home baking! Having a tidy-up!!!

- Captain Tom Moore, aka Captain Incredible (£23 million raised for the NHS)

- Face time with those we can't meet in the flesh. Specifically - asking my grandson Otto (4) if he could send me some of his Easter egg in the post. (Can you guess the answer?)

- Finally and rather obviously: all the brilliant, courageous and caring men and women who work in our National Health Service. Boris was right - the NHS is the best of our country, and it is powered by love. When this is over, our job is to make sure it always gets the funding and resources it needs...

Of course, no-one can make us be thankful. But I believe our mental and spiritual health depends on it. And it isn't hard, at the end of each day, to find something, however small, which is a token of God's love for us, and for which we can be truly thankful.

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