Lockdown life

Pastor Glenn Townend reflects on the good and the bad of being stuck at home.

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(Credit: Unsplash)

During COVID-19 lockdown, my wife Pamela and I have set a record. We haven’t been home with each other for longer than a month at a time for more than 17 years—half our 34 years of marriage. As I write, we’ve been together for 10 weeks, and it could be more to come. Pam says it’s nice having me around. She doesn’t like lonely days when church work takes me away for weeks. We used to joke that part of our secret to a good marriage was spending up to a third of our time apart and we enjoyed catching up together after travel. However, being together for an extended period is all right too!

But not everything about the lockdown is positive. Humans were made to be “free” (Genesis 2:16). When freedom is restricted—little movement, limited face-to-face contact—it does impact us. On personal reflection, I am more anxious and focused on my needs and less sensitive to the needs of others. My children, who act as a brilliant mirror, have lovingly revealed a selfish streak and a weakness I was blind to in our online family catch-ups. Lockdown is revealing some less-than-Christ like characteristics in me.

How about you? What are you enjoying about the lockdown? What are you finding difficult? What is it revealing about yourself?

Not spending 1.5 hours in a car commuting each day means I have invested time into extra and deeper Bible study—I love it. I received an answer for my sinful nature issues from Colossians 3: focus on Jesus; choose His grace, mercy, power, peace and holiness to be a part of my life; think about the end goal; let Jesus live within; put to death the evil by not giving it thinking time; check your behaviour—there are a wealth of practical insights. Knowing that Jesus, who is the fullness of God, lives within me, gives me hope.