I’m ashamed to say that the COVID-19 lock-down came as rather a blessing. While acknowledging the trauma of this time for many, it felt strange to be breathing a sigh of relief to be able to take a break.
You know how certain lessons linger in the memory? I recall a sermon just after I moved to the Midlands to work with Christian Unions. I don’t remember the passage, though it could well have been Mark’s Gospel. Instead of trying to recruit us to follow Jesus by describing how amazing Jesus’ teaching was, the preacher simply wanted us to listen to Jesus’ own words and follow him.
Six of us were huddled over a blank canvas. One of us had stayed up late the night before to sketch a basic calendar for the year ahead. Every little box for every day of the year represented an opportunity – an opportunity to do our job and to reach the campus for Christ.
After a few years in northern Italy, we have moved ‘home’ to Sicily. Here I grew up, here my parents laboured. Palermo is the 2018 Italian ‘Capital of Culture’. And what a feast of richness in this city, capital of Sicily, with over 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, defined by many as ‘the most conquered’ of world cities.