Another week and we’re back in the throes of another Covid outbreak: the entire Greater Sydney area gone into lockdown for two weeks, as of last night.
Sydney on Wednesday this week was very different to now.
Even Sydney on Thursday was different to Wednesday. Twelve hours can make all the difference.*
This of course was not welcome news when you’ve got a big school event planned for the Thursday. Make that the biggest onsite event of the school year: Multicultural Day and Business Day combined.
MD + BD = Lots of stalls, crowding students and food.
Needless to say there were a few last minute changes to plans.
On Wednesday afternoon I headed to the local shopping centre to do one of my jobs: collect the float. As I stepped into the centre, it was clear things had changed: lots of masks being worn.
I masked up. (Later discovering it wasn’t compulsory for a few more hours…)
And then felt like a criminal being in a bank wearing a mask…but that’s beside the point.
How quickly things change; and people quickly get on edge.
When I went to an ATM yesterday to deposit the float amount withdrawn, I was at the front of the queue. A woman clearly in discussion with another person, stood in the line in front of me.
I almost just let it go, but then she turned slightly, so I decided to tell her that I was already in the queue.
She was instantly apologetic and said she didn’t realise. I told her I could tell that. Then she stood behind me.
Then she came forward and spoke to me again.
“I didn’t realise you were there.”
I told her (again) that I could tell and she explained how you can’t see anything with glasses and a mask. I concurred with her. We were both wearing the same on our faces.
Then the conversation stopped.
Then she started it again.
She told me how there were only certain masks she could wear because she was allergic to other ones and that they gave her a rash. I listened and then it was my turn at the ATM and the conversation was over.
I think she was expecting judgement.
She was fairly ‘on edge’ and seemed to think I was going to hate on her. But it was obvious that she was distracted in a conversation with (presumably) her daughter, who was walking off somewhere else. Add in a mask on your face which just makes you feel disorientated and your glasses steam up and…
She did the wrong thing.
But she didn’t do it on purpose. Even if she had, my response should still be one of grace. Of course, it’s a lot easier when it’s an accident, but would I have been so forthcoming if it had been deliberate?
Well I should be, if I call myself a Christian, because that’s what God is like.
We’re currently in the throes of a global pandemic that stretches across the globe – just like God’s grace does. The Bible says:
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
There is no judgment for transgressions – deliberate or accidental – when we confess our sins to God. And he doesn’t just give us a quick brushing down, he removes our transgressions from us entirely.
There is no need to expect judgement when you ask for grace.
That being said, please don’t feel at liberty to jump in front of me in the ATM queue. 🙂
But that’s another piece of theology for another time…
Yours in the queue,
* Ed: Sometimes one hour can make all the difference. When originally written, the opening of this post included the sentence: Four local government areas locked down and presumably more to come.