Thursday, December 17 2020
The first thing I think about when I go to blog is the pandemic! It has ruled our lives in 2020 all over the world, not especially Australia, but we are still being affected by a few cases popping up. Elsewhere the cities are decimated and people are in hiding (behind masks), still grappling with the issue as a vaccine looms on the horizon.
From a more safe platform in Australia, our view is different than those struggling under mountains of plastic and syringes, coffins and grief unimaginable without a world war happening.
Yesterday, for the first time, I found out where my great grand uncles died and are remembered since WW1. It was a surprise as until 2019 nobody in our family was aware of their gallantry, bravery and sadly, deaths. In Ireland they were "Pardoned" recently. "Thank you for dying, young men." That is our view from 100 years afterwards. I can tell you that I shed tears of grief for these two heroes yesterday, though I never met them or even knew what happened to them until I was 70 years of age. In Ireland there is a secrecy that is permeated about keeping silent. It is a crippling idea that does not work for those who have to bear the brunt of the story long afterwards when nothing can be changed. That is wrong. Something can always be done about historic incidents and horrors. We can remember those with a passion that never passes, tears that never stop flowing and learn from their generosity. Honouring them now does not help the poor mother and father who wept themselves into their own graves, along with their brothers and sisters who must have been devastated. Yet they had to be silent.
It is the same with the pandemic. People are hurting. Loved ones are lost forever. Tragedy has happened unexpectedly and we grapple to contain our emotions, our thoughts, our actions.
Here is the hope for those of us who must face these issues every day, every moment of our lives, those who face the tragedy that happened 100 years ago, or yesterday. It does not matter, we face it, for face it we must. We cannot help our humanity, our frailty, and our emotions that burst upon us like a broken dam and the waters rush forth.
It is so easy to say, "Move on, forget it..." but it does not go away. It happened, it was real. We must face the foe daily and press on towards our goals.
How can we press on? How can we move a finger or a foot? We can. We will. We should.
Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age." (Matthew end chapter). We need not be afraid. Always when an angel appeared to certain people, the first words are, "Do not be afraid." "Fear Not"
Do not push the enemy aside, box it up or bury it. Walk boldly against it with your head in the air, walk on, walk on, with hope in your hearts. For Jesus Christ Himself, the ruler of the universe, is with you and with me. Jesus Christ comes to all who call on Him. He is the one that everyone will meet at the Judgement Seat of Christ. For there is no name under Heaven whereby we must be saved. Even a pandemic being dropped into our midst, our lives, causing havoc, cannot win against Jesus Christ. He comes to us from Heaven every day through the might and power of the Holy Spirit (Dunamis) meand power. God gives these gifts to us every day because God is still with us, caring, provoking and soothing our souls. Keep looking upwards and onwards towards heaven, where all the brave, courageous, merciful and humble people will be waiting like a chorus of angels to welcome us when we give up the ghost.
Yesterday, I discovered the place who and where my great uncles are laid to rest. They have a memorial in their names Thomas and Edward Dempsey: Farmers from Celbridge. Now heroes. Forever enshrined for all to see at (France: Ypres Menin Gate Memorial Panel 44 and 46 - Edward Died 25 April, 1915 - Aged 27 ) and Thomas at Duisans British Cemetery, Belgium, aged 20. Died on 24 April, 1917, following his brother to glory. My brother has a letter found in the attic from Thomas in Christmas 2016. He died four months later. R.I.P heroes. I love you to the moon and back.
God knows exactly where they are. I look forward to meeting them in Heaven where they are waiting for the finale. "To die for sinners is the greatest gift anyone can do."
"We honour those who have died trying to save others in this pandemic." Nothing is more human or extraordinary. Jesus led the way and keeps leading us forward.
I hope and trust the WHO will encourage all countries to erect memorials for those who perished in the Covid War. Finally the truth will surface and another generation will mourne and shudder. But God is still awesome and will bring them through their grief. Look up, for our redemption draws near.