SWF Research Officer Sam McBratney considers how it feels to be ‘laid aside’ at this time and invites your responses on being ‘laid aside’ in the time of lockdown.
Recently, I wrote a blog post about vocation and work. I entitled it ‘Let me employed for you’, a reference to the Methodist Covenant Service Prayer recited at the beginning of each year. It came out of the rare coincidence of Vocations Sunday with International Workers’ Day on 1st May and I reflected on the changes in perceptions to certain kinds of work brought (at least temporarily) by the Covid19 pandemic.
That line in the Covenant Prayer about being employed goes on:
Let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you…
let me be full, let me be empty …
Whilst many are working their socks off to fight this virus – caring, researching, policing, delivering, cooking, teaching, cleaning – for others the experience is very different; forced to remain at home, on furlough or, worse, redundant, confronted with a new, and unwelcome, normal. Working from home has, for some, meant double the effort to achieve half as much. And for those for whom home is not a safe place, lockdown is experienced as an indeterminate prison sentence.
What has ‘being laid aside’ in lockdown meant for you? Has it been liberating or confining, a time to reflect and learn new things, or a dreadful drudge? What have you learnt about yourself and those closest to you?
I would love to gather your thoughts, words, images and insights as we reflect together on this shared experience. Contact me at Sam.McBratney @ roehampton.ac.uk with your responses by the end of May.