Ordinary, Special Individuals

My friend Jon put this picture on Facebook: ‘Every now and again I lose a few hours “researching and developing” my ancestral knowledge. This is a photo of my great grandfather, grandfather, father and me!’

Is this a ‘Read family’ history lesson? Yes but… It’s four individual men… ordinary, yet special to their friends and family, whose lives influenced many through their homes, their work and their example.

We drove past our local hospital yesterday…. junior doctors with fresh faces, woolly hats, and placards. National news on our doorstep.

Is this about politics, the NHS, pay and national strikes? Yes but… It’s about the individual young doctor who wants to do his job well but doesn’t have the resources… the apparently unimportant but special elderly patient whose operation had been delayed for another six months…

Last week high spring tides and gale-force winds brought havoc to Norfolk’s coastline. We saw the cliff face at Hemsby being washed away by the sea, homes on the cliff edge being dismantled.

Is this about coastal erosion, global warming, unpredictable weather, cliff protection? Yes but… It’s about ordinary individuals who’ve lost their homes, hopes and dreams into the sea…

The Gary Lineker saga rumbles on… ‘special’ personalities and politicians… the BBC’s integrity… the Conservative party’s reputation… enforceable legislation… Yes but… It’s about the rights of individuals and free speech… compassion and justice for ordinary, individual refugees and asylum seekers…

Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm was famous, rich, talented, successful… special! Yes but… The press vilified her: ‘…the message was clear. I was a fat, ugly, boring, unpopular, single, loser.’

‘Many of the things I was experiencing were clear signs of clinical depression: lethargy, insomnia, low self-esteem, anxiety, feelings of guilt and helplessness, tearfulness, difficulty making decisions, weight gain.’ Mel is an ordinary individual.

Musing… on the Jesus who, by his words and his actions, put the value of the individual ahead of politics and religion… treating special people as ordinary, and ordinary people as special.

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