At the end of January, a drama was shown on television called “The Windermere Children”. It was about 300 of a total of 1000 Jewish children who had survived work and death camps under the Nazis. The Jewish community in this country paid for them to be given refuge here. These 300 went to Windermere. Six of them were only three years old. All of them had endured horrors we cannot imagine.
Despite the terrible trauma and the loss, in many cases of their entire families, these children rebuilt their lives. They learned English, they supported each other. They found work and had families. Two, Arek Hersh and Ben Helfgott, received an MBE and a Knighthood respectively. They chose Life.
During Lent, we often give something up: as a discipline because we see Lent as a time of self-denial. Perhaps we can reframe our responses in this period and consciously make choices for Life.
Making choices for Life of course also involves discipline. Thinking about what we buy and where from. Examining our attitudes: are we habitually resentful or anxious? Looking at our rhythm of work and rest- are we doing too much, or doing things which are not fruitful? Thinking about others: are there things, perhaps small, which we could do which might be Life- giving for them?
All of us are tempted, in one way or another, to be drawn into ways of thinking or behaving which are deadening or damaging. This Lent, let us tell God about how we really feel about those things which blight our lives, and ask God to show us how, even with small steps, we can turn toward the Life that we are promised in all its fullness, and which Jesus shares so generously with us.