Ordinary and Extraordinary People

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Last night we watched television…

We watched ‘Strictly Come Dancing – the results’: celebrities learning to dance… but they’re just ordinary people like us…

I continue to be amazed by Rose Ayling-Ellis. This British actress, known for acting in EastEnders, is deaf and a British Sign Language user.

This week her dance featured a period of silence, included as a tribute to the deaf community. Judge Anton Du Beke said: ‘…it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen on the show’.

Seeing Rose interpret and keep in perfect time to music she can’t hear… Ordinary? Extraordinary!

We watched ‘Antiques Roadshow’ – a special edition for Remembrance Sunday. Parts were broadcast from the Etaples Military Cemetery in France. Objects, photographs, and medals were shown; remarkable, moving stories were told… ‘This is my Great-grandfather…’

The First World War… The Marne, The Somme, Ypres… doing your duty… the poppies growing in Flanders Fields… unspeakable suffering in the trenches… mustard gas… Spanish flu… the wounded and dead… visible and invisible scars… veterans, families, the wider community…

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

We watched ‘Dr Alex: Our Mental Health  Crisis’. Dr Alex George, UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, presented a documentary on young people living with mental ill-health.

He talked to young people… anxiety and depression… self-harming and eating disorders… low self-esteem… He spoke of his youngest brother’s suicide and the effects on his family.

Covid and social isolation doubling the number of young people suffering with mental ill-health… 1.5 million young people referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) in the last 2.5 years…

Dr Alex visited inspirational projects across the country… ordinary young people with problems becoming extraordinary caring young people helping others who are suffering…

Musing… On Jesus with the deaf and blind, soldiers and civilians, wounded and whole, mothers and children, physical and mental ill-health, ordered and disordered lives…

…And on the Christian message of hope, healing and transformation, changing the ordinary to the extraordinary…

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