Faith Focus: Hope and inspiration for a better tomorrow

Fran Fletcher

Fran Fletcher - Credit: Archant

We watched Captain Tom celebrate his 100th birthday live on TV, with Michael Ball singing and a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying overhead. What a day that must have been for him, although he appears to take it all in his very modest stride.

Along with raising more than £30 million for the NHS, Captain Tom has become known for his catchphrase of hope: “Tomorrow will be a better day”. He has also inspired many others, young and old, to set themselves physical challenges, surpassing obstacles.

Coronavirus affects people in enormously different ways, from inconsequential to life-threatening. We all share in the elusive hunt for flour and eggs but, beyond that, the impact varies considerably.

The collective challenge is to our mental health, with many of us experiencing weird dreams and anxiety, and certainly hoping that tomorrow will, indeed, be a better day. How do our choices now reflect that hope?

Despite everything, the sun still shines. For a moment we forget what is going on and sit in the garden, read a book, listen to the birds, enjoy family time…

Scary moments, sleepless nights, but also a very precious gift of time to do things so often neglected. Life turns on a knife edge; never more was seize the day so true.

The Queen, in her speech, cautioned: “I hope, in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

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The community spirit has been amazing in St Albans, with so many people helping out those in need: running errands, delivering shopping or giving to local charities.

My own neighbourhood changes our window display each week to entertain smaller children. We’ve had bears, rainbows, sunflowers and butterflies.

When we give for the benefit of others, it is surprising how much we receive. Captain Tom stated: “People keep saying what I have done is remarkable. However, it’s actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.”

Let’s make a choice for that goodwill and compassion to continue when lockdown is over; for tomorrow to be better than life was before the virus.

Fran Fletcher is a member of St Michael’s Church, St Albans and a teacher of Spanish and French.