I walked past the CEFAS building yesterday. A group of men in high-viz jackets were standing at the bottom of a scaffolding tower; one man was high up, busy doing something.
Mum, dad, three children and a dog approached me. Dad spoke to son with knowledge and authority: ‘That’s the way it is, son. One man does all the work. The others stand watching.’
The death of Captain Sir Tom Moore makes the headlines this morning. This Second World War hero has ‘captured the heart of the nation’ over the past year. This champion fund-raiser has been an example in his resilience, determination, humour, cheerfulness and humility.
One old man has made an inspirational difference.
Marcus Rashford has constantly made the news both as a skilful goal-scoring footballer, and as a champion of poor families, working tirelessly to provide free school meals for hungry children…
Walking through Kirkley Cemetery I heard a distraught child crying. I rounded the corner. A mother and young daughter were kneeling in front of a small child’s grave: a new grave with fresh flowers and a balloon with ‘5 years old’ on it attached. ‘Why does everybody have to die, Mummy?’ the sobbing child asked.
I walked past silently, with a tear in my eye. A mother and child grieving; a child’s life and death had made a difference to their lives.
I’m reading of the priests in Leviticus: one person made a difference, standing on behalf of the people before God.
Yesterday I phoned a friend. ‘Thanks ever so much for phoning. You’re the first person I’ve spoken to for 3 days,’ he said.
We’ve heard a lot about doctors, nurses, health-care workers, teachers who make a difference…
But making a difference isn’t about age, background or job. It’s ordinary people who are willing, available, determined and prepared to go up the scaffolding tower when they’re tired, scared and it isn’t their turn.