Have you gone from “Isn’t the weather glorious?” to “It’s a bit too hot for me” I wonder? I think, much as I hate to admit it, that I have. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the wonderful weather, but it’s so hot! Hard to sleep, and too much to be out in the middle of the day. Every summer nowadays seems to be a re-enactment of the glorious summer of 1976 when, being younger, I was better able to enjoy it.
What was your worry as a child? For my mother, who was born at the beginning of the war, the bomb siren triggered a visceral response, and when we moved to a village where it was used to call the volunteer fire brigade, she was halfway under the dining-room table the first time we heard it go off.
For my generation, it was the fear of nuclear powers letting go of common sense. The thought of atomic war and the ensuing nuclear winter was the stuff our nightmares were made of, and the women of Greenham Common were either heroes or a pain in the neck, depending upon your stance.
Every generation it seems must have its own fears and typing that sentence, I am reminded of Matthew 6:34: Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
We who have survived the last decades can see the truth of that, but we may also recognise that humanity was instrumental in all that happened. Those who built Anderson shelters and survived went on to form the United Nations and NATO and work for peace and those who feared nuclear devastation worked against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and in this generation our children will continue to find new and powerful ways of reclaiming God’s world from the darkness that threatens it. As we seek to help them, we remember that it was ever thus, and that we will never know what disaster we averted by trying to keep things safe in our own time.
As I plant the forgotten potatoes that have grown legs under my sink, and make umpteen bread and butter puddings, because the bread goes stale so quickly in this weather, I take pride in all that we have accomplished and all that we will accomplish, remembering that God is in it all and as people who believe in God as Creator, we also believe that we glorify him by continuing as caretakers of his world.