It is Easter Saturday 2013 and the redemption story of which I feel a part, has been paused between the despair and confusion of Good Friday and the celebration and resurrection of Easter Sunday.
On this inbetweeny day I am also caught between the despair of knowing that in this coming week life for many will be made more confusing and desperate than it already was, as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ is implemented. Yet I am spending much of today finishing off my preparation for Spring Harvest, a large festival in the UK to which thousands of Jesus-followers pilgrimage to the delightful seaside Butlins resorts in Skegness and Minehead. Spring Harvest is known for it’s celebratory and motivational ‘can do’ outlook, which is inspiring to many and as I prepare I am pondering how I can pass on hope and inspiration.
Yet I don’t feel very hopeful about Britain today.
Last week, whilst visiting Ellesmere Port, I heard the story of a man who lives in a 2 bedroom council apartment. He has been asking for a transfer to a 1 bedroom place for goodness knows how long. This has not been possible because there simply are no 1 bedroom apartments available in his town. So as a treat, from this week he will be taxed and made poorer for the privilege of having an extra bedroom he does not even want.
Jesus followers are often known for being more concerned about what happens in the privacy of peoples’ bedrooms than issues of justice. This week, peoples’ bedrooms will be making public headlines because the government is implementing a ‘form of social engineering that would have made Joseph Stalin proud’, according to the government’s poverty tsar, Frank Field in today’s Guardian.
This is a blatant knee-jerk reaction to the financial mess the country is in which was caused by who? … O yes, the banks, some of which ‘we’ own, for example LLOYDS, who are still paying more than 20 of its staff £1m .
Today I am embarrassed about how our country is treating the poor. I am angry and I am confused as to how we highlight the injustice of what is happening to innocent people and implement a solution.
I guess the disciples, the day after they saw their friend and soul-mate unjustly killed in front of them, spent the day feeling confused, sick and grieved. As they processed the loss of their motivator and redeemer they had no sense of hope, just fear and uncertainty. They did not know how the story ended. It was all just an omnishambles.