• Jacquey Newton

A Gift of Time and Space

Week beginning 5th April 2020

Hi Everyone

What a week this last one has been. It’s felt rather tough for me.

On Monday Roger and I went down to church to clear away the old greenhouse by the kitchen door and to put up a barrier where there was no fence. The greenhouse had got terribly broken through all of the storms we had back in February and is now tied together in the basement ready to sell for scrap. We then noticed that what had been a bricked in window in the basement had developed a huge crack which was letting water in the basement, so we had to take action. Roger purchased some mastic, which is flexible, and we prepared to plug the gap. Roger did his research and discovered that the mastic we had bought is very thick and sticky and isn’t very workable on cold days. The remedy was to keep the tubes warm and then it would flow into the gaps easily. So we found our hot water bottle, filled it with boiling water and put that and the tubes into an insulated bag and off we went. And that’s what we did, filled the crack with both tubes and the warming helped to keep it very pliable on the cold morning that was Monday. Job done.

Then as Roger was motivated to work outside he started clearing a couple of flower beds in our back garden, and as he has to take care of his back, he knelt down to weed and dig over the bed. This then caused an issue with his knee, it swelled up and he was unable to go out on our daily walk.  So I went out for a walk on my own. This time I chose to walk up Hollerday Hill and I took the path to the right on the sharp bend going up. I have never done that part of the walk and the views were spectacular. I walked all the way out to the lone bench with the views over the Valley of Rocks, it was stunning. Then when I was ready I started the walk downhill on the zigzag path. There was a lady with her small children coming up, so I stepped back and allowed her and the children plenty of space. The Mum concerned for her children called out to the one in front “Stay away from the lady”, which the little one did. But as I then walked down the hill, I was so upset. Yes I know we all need to keep our distance and little ones aren’t as aware as we all are, but I still found it upsetting. 

The Psalmist calls out to God about what is going on around him, Psalm 10:1 “O Lord why do you stand so far away?...” he laments throughout psalms 10, 11 and 12 and there is very little that is encouraging. Except there is one phrase  in Psalm 10 and 11 which are easy to miss in the huge amount of  negativity –

“ The Lord is King forever and ever!”10:16

“I will trust in the Lord for protection” 11:1

The Mum didn’t mean to be unkind, but it felt to me in that moment so very painful to hear.  It makes me realise again how important our words are. I saw this on a Facebook page the very next day:


You never really know the true impact you have on those around you.

You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them.

You never know how much kindness turned someone’s entire life around.

You never know how much someone needed that long hug* or deep talk.

So don’t’ wait to be kind.

Don’t wait for someone else to be kind first.

Don’t wait for better circumstances or for someone to change.

Just be kind, because you never know how much someone needs it.

(* Keeping all social distancing measures in place!)

Here’s another perspective about our time of lockdown published by a pastor in the USA - Lynn Ungar 11th March 2020

What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Centre down.

And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love - for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

Maybe we are experiencing ‘enforced sabbath’?

Maybe it is God’s way to enable us to press ‘hard reset’?

Maybe it’s a gift?

A gift of time. A gift of space.

We may never has this time and space again in our lifetimes.

This week’s playlist on you tube is available here


We have heard from Bob, and he is driving ambulances in Bristol during this time, so please add him to your prayers.

Roger’s knee is much better and we are on walks together again. 

Do keep in touch with us and each other



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Living Waters Lynton United Reformed Church
Lee Road, Lynton, Devon EX35 6BS