A Good Friday Fast
It's Good Friday and almost as if I had planned it, the sun is out and it is shaping up to be a beautiful day.
I'm sitting in the garden after having had a lazy morning, eg one where I only got up in the last hour and have completed the small amount of work for the school I'm employed at that I can do from home. It's very hard to be a Receptionist and greet people unless you are actually on the Reception desk to greet people you know!
I am listening to an orchestra of Birdsong, punctuated by the odd rumble of a train on the tracks nearby, the low murmur of conversation from my neighbours and the purr of Mario, who has curled up on the garden table next to my laptop and is enjoying sunning himself.
It's peaceful. It's sunny. It's everything someone would want a bank holiday to be.
It's funny, had this of been any other Good Friday I doubt I would have been sat peacefully in the garden at 10:30 in the morning. If the weather was as nice as it is today, we may have planned a trip to the seaside for a paddle in the sea, or the countryside to take a walk in the beautiful scenery. We would have planned for extended family members to come to share a meal and some time together, we would have been preparing for a religious Easter service at Church or even been at a Garden Centre shopping for plants for our newly-dug over raised bed borders.
Today though, we are following the rules set in place by the Government about staying at home to limit the spread of Covid 19 and so there will be no trips out, no family get together and no visiting garden centres.
Today, I and many others across the world, are taking part in a day of Fasting that the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson, and also the church that I belong to asked us to participate in.
"For all whose health may permit, let us fast, pray, and unite our faith once again, Let us prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic."
"I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized."
Fasting is a very personal thing, and normally I will abstain from food but not water (as I know how my body reacts and I need to take medication with a glass of water to aid its absorption or something like that) but I wanted to go further this time and have decided to abstain from watching Television. It seems like such a small thing to say, but considering the amount of TV I would watch in a day at home, this is a huge deal for me and I believe a good addition to my fast.
It's comforting to know that all across the world, thousands of people are doing the same as me right now. Praying for the safety of caregivers, praying that the world will recover from this pandemic, that we will be able to regain freedoms and our "old" way of lives soon (although I honestly think some things will never go back to the way they were for some people by personal choice) and that comfort will be given to those who seek it and those who need it.
I like to think that every Good Friday from now on, will see members of the Church fasting. That we will add this day to our calendar and that we will use this day to remember the freedoms we have, the blessings we have and the love we have from a Father in Heaven who sent his son to save us all.