The big story for weeks has been the weather. Huge waves crashing over promenades, aerial views of the River Severn’s flood plains, and villages or houses cut off by water – such images have dominated the news.
The stories and pictures reveal how much damage ‘the weather’ can do, and how powerless we are in the face of it. Before Christmas a number of houses had power cut off due to the adverse weather and had to live without electricity, heat and light for days. In recent news we have heard of communities completely isolated by flood water, people unable to travel, work or shop; normal life severely affected.
We are accustomed to full time connection – to power sources, through the internet, by satellite, through global networks that we expect to be fully operational all the time, by road, rail, by flight. We have come to expect the freedom to connect worldwide. Yet we find that something as everyday as ‘the weather’ can change everything incredibly quickly. We are not the masters of the universe. We are unexpectedly cut off – from food and heat and work and friends and social networks – at a stroke. And for some it’s much worse – property damaged, crops ruined, and in the most extreme cases lives lost.
All remind us at the start of this New Year that, however much we like to assume control, there are many events outside of our own limited power. When the chips are down we need to be able to rely on others, to work together for good, to help our neighbour in time of need. And I am reminded in the face of uncertainty and powerlessness to trust in a power that is not my own, to have faith in God.
by the Archdeacon of Gloucester, the Venerable Jackie Searle