There was a special commemoration yesterday of the centenary of the interment of the remains of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey. His identity is unknown, but he symbolises all who lost their lives in the conflict, and probably by extension all who suffered loss (physical, mental, material) because of the that war and all wars. Some may look on the grave with pride for what he and those like him did for the country and community, some may perhaps feel anger, grief, regret that lives were lost through the breakdown of international co-operation and the ambition or incompetence of politicians or commanders, that people allowed themselves to be swept along. Maybe that mix of emotions comes with every event that leads to loss. Maybe it is there too in our feelings during the pandemic: we don’t have an equivalent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to act as a focus for our feelings, but deep-down we long for such a symbol to be our focus for expressing our welled-up and mixed emotions from the whole thing.
Lord, there are times when we need a symbol or focus to help us confront and express our feelings and emotions. There are many issues in the world today which evoke strong feelings in us, in addition to the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather than bottling them up, help us to find ways of expressing them constructively, and help others to do so too
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