Here & now: Naomi Baldwin
Let’s find a new now, says Naomi Baldwin
I have, saved on my phone, a quote I come back to time and time again. It’s one of those annoying motivational ones with a blurred image of something completely irrelevant in the background, and of course the original author is unknown. It goes like this: ‘The irony of the human condition is that we are so focussed on reaching some point in our journey, some happiness, or some goal, that we seem to forget that the journey itself is where life happens.’
This year, as I’m sure other writers in this edition of Reform will be noting, has been nothing if not a rollercoaster. We have all been affected, but in different ways. As I sit here, struggling to know what to write, it seems to me that this difference in experience has, for me at least, made it all the more difficult to know how to connect with those around us, especially those who may be struggling in different ways to ourselves. To each of us, our struggle is the hardest to bear.
This time two years ago, I was finishing up writing a Christmas Day address for my home church. If I was doing that now, I might tie this struggle neatly into the message of the Christmas story: a little child who brought people together, irrespective of their finances, their genders, their jobs, their place in society. When the world needed guidance, God sent his son into the world as a vulnerable human being. And when Jesus was due to return home, he gave the great commission: ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.’ Or, as the version in Mark’s Gospel says: ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’
But how best to accomplish this, especially when we can’t meet in person or in large groups? …
Naomi Baldwin is a theatre technician
This is an extract from an article published in the December 2020 / January 2021 edition of Reform