For the past thirty-one years of my life, I have made an effort to think about the significance of Good Friday before celebrating the happiness and joy that surrounds Easter Sunday.

Whatever faith you may or may not have, I believe everyone appreciates the story of good triumphing over evil. Of dashed hopes somehow finding victory – just when you had given up.

I know I do anyway.

As I take time out to think about all the implications (sorry, no one can genuinely think about all the implications) of this Coronavirus lockdown situation, I keep coming back to my single dominating insight.

We have never been here before. The Government doesn’t know how to tackle this with 100% efficiency. How could they? Who are we to expect them to?

Not everyone who gets caught driving over 100 miles to be with their family is a hypocrite or ‘guideline-flouter’. When you think about it, if said person is getting into their car and driving door to door to be with their immediate family (assuming they all know their current Covid-19 status – almost impossible in itself of course with the chronic lack of testing here in the UK), who can blame them? How are they actually spreading the virus?

I think about all the people who are alone in a high-rise flat with no easy access to fresh air, let alone a garden. Or the person who up until recently, had been doing really well with their weekly therapy sessions that have now ground to an abrupt halt. And they don’t even have a computer or smartphone to continue in the ever-expanding virtual world.

What do we do in times like this?

We do what we can and hope that the end of this comes sooner rather than later.

Some say this could be in May, others say September, or even longer – depending on you who read and believe.

I wrote last time about how this is as much a mental challenge as anything else and I still believe this to be the case.

Just like that very first Good Friday however, when the followers of Jesus were convinced all was lost, we too, can feel that way. Businesses are collapsing, entire industries are on the brink of ruin, the health of the economy will be cut down by a quarter if the lockdown lasts into the Summer.

Again, depending on who you read and what you believe.

I am no expert – far from it – but what I do know is this:

You can act like it all depends on you (follow the Government guidelines to the best of your ability, shop (and drink) responsibly), be kind to those you do get to see and speak with (in-house and beyond) but you can pray like it all depends on God.

Churches up and down the country are all closed in accordance with the aforementioned guidelines and some journalists criticise the Church of England for that. No doubt if they remained open, there would be more than mere criticism coming their way.

The Good Friday service has for several years now, been one of my favourite services of the year but this morning, we had to sit down in front of the TV (thank God for Smart TVs that incorporate You Tube in the same big ‘box’)

It is not the same however. I definitely do not prefer this way of worshipping and listening to our amazing vicar encouraging people with all his heart to draw near to God at this time, despite his irrepressible passion for Jesus.

But there are people all over the world doing exactly the same thing.

There are people all around you – wherever you are – who are doing their thing, whatever that is, during these unprecedented days of uncertainty and yes, faith.

Faith in God, Faith in the Government to lead us out of this crisis. Faith in the NHS to save our life if we need that. Faith in our friends to look out for us. Faith in our family to help us in any way they can.

In other words, there is a LOT of good stuff going on all around you.

If you don’t believe me, try listening to this man singing. We were out walking earlier today and across from a sealed off area in the middle of the countryside, on the other side of a hedge, which meant we couldn’t see him, we heard this man singing, On our way up the gentle hill, he was singing Could It Be Magic by Take That. About half an hour later, we came to the same spot and he was still singing.

Initially, I thought to myself, “Wow, what a lovely thing. Here’s this guy singing his heart out (presumably with his headphones on). Who knows who he is? He could be a man down on his luck and now camping out in the countryside. He could be a man, out and about, enjoying the wonderful sunny weather, and singing one of his favourite songs. He could be some top executive, at the end of his rope, and now as an act of defiance, is singing at the top of his lungs without a single care in the world.”

Who knows? None of us know anything anymore. At least, not as much as we thought we did.

Anyway, for less than thirty seconds, here he is, the Mystery Singer in Storrington

(You will have to listen carefully as the audio quality is not great)

What I didn’t know, until my wife looked up the lyrics that she could make out was that it was a Barry  Manilow song called I Made It Through the Rain.

I don’t know about you but when you read the following words, you might just believe in something more than you already do…

We dreamers have our ways

Of facing rainy days

And somehow we survive

We keep the feelings warm

Protect them from the storm

Until our time arrives

Then one day the sun appears

And we come shining through those lonely years

I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it through the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through

When friends are hard to find

And life seems so unkind

Sometimes you feel afraid

Just aim beyond the clouds

And rise above the crowds

And start your own parade

‘Cause when I chase my fears away

That’s when I knew that I could finally say

I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it though the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through I made it through the rain

I kept my world protected

I made it though the rain

I kept my point of view

I made it through the rain

And found myself respected

By the others who got rained on too

And made it through

And made it through

And made it through

Like I said, it really is a Good Friday.

Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.