After retirement it becomes increasingly difficult to see one’s own front-line. As a school-teacher, the front-lines were clear: the classroom, the staffroom, parents meetings. As a parent, there was the school-gate. But now… I find I spend so much of my time doing churchy things, where is my front-line?
ON MY DOORSTEP.
It took me some time to realise this: it’s the gated community where we have recently come to live. After a particularly unpleasant Residents’ AGM, a quiet lady sitting next to me said: ‘We’ve been here 23 years and it’s always been like this. I thought it would be easy to make friends in this small community but I have never been able to.’ The few out-going people enjoy pleasant neighbourliness but in the buzz of London there are many who are lonely and isolated: different faiths, different languages – they don’t help; so what are we to do?
This is work in progress. We missed the Queen’s birthday, but we’re going to invite everyone to a tea-party in the front garden. We are going to try and get a bench placed near the gates, so the bolder people amongst us can sit and say hello to people as they come in and out. And we can pray. Every morning I will sit looking out over our balcony and pray for the people in our community. God is there loving everyone but He needs us to get on with the work.