(These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.)
It is winter, and the dark nights are here. But on these damp misty mornings, as I leave my home for work in the dark and as I return home later in the dark, I can but rest assured for I know that someone loves me.
The energy providers, whose faces I never see know that I need them. They write to me often, and some of them even fight over me for attention. They know like millions of others, the first thing I will do on these cold dark nights is go around my home switching lamps and heating on. It is quite a ritual. As I do so, I sometimes smile as I hear my late father’s voice scolding me “It’s like Blackpool Illuminations” in here. “Turn that light off”
We were frugal back then. Leaving the landing light on because you were scared to go upstairs in the dark was a luxury. These days it stays on. However, there are also solar lights along the driveway, which cost £3.99 from the local petrol station and an inexpensive sensor light for unexpected guests. Sometimes, it can be quite disconcerting as you hear it switch on in the very early hours as some stray cat or badger takes a short cut home across your property.
Yes, artificial lights have a down side too.
Historic England, a UK organization which is dedicated to preserving English heritage, by way of our buildings and historical sites, recently highlighted two famous buildings in their ‘loss and destruction’ season, by illuminating St Paul’s Cathedral, London and Coventry Cathedral with a spectacular light display impregnated against its ancient, and not so ancient brickwork. The electricity bill must have been extremely high.
St Paul’s Cathedral which survived the war intact was illuminated with reminiscent scenes from the blitz. Coventry Cathedral, which was bombed and ruined, also depicted a light show which highlighted its loss and destruction, together with the restoration of the new Cathedral that was built alongside the site.
Coventry is very well known for suffering more than any other city in England during the Luftwaffe raids in what the Germans called Operation Moonlight Sonata. The moonlight on the 14th November 1940 allowed 500 Luftwaffe bombers to target Coventry for a straight 11 hours and totally destroy it.
If you visit Coventry today, you will find it to be a very modern urban city, dotted with 60’s style precincts and the odd historical building which survived the war. Like many new cities it can, in my opinion feel predominantly soul-less, concrete and cold. It is also a University City and has been dedicated to be the City of Culture for 2021.
The Cathedral, which is one of the main attractions for visitors to Coventry, is also very modern, although it does have a vintage style restaurant alongside it, which people really like, and the ruins of the previous Cathedral are also attached to it.
The ruins are probably the most honest representation of what has happened to the faith of the United Kingdom since the war. It stands as a testimony to that.
The roofless structure allows natural light to shine upon a ruined and broken place which epitomizes what evil can do to something it hates. When you stand in the open air there you see the reality of an altar with a single wooden cross still standing. For some people, it will speak to them more than all of the modern artwork in the adjoining cathedral. It is simple and honest.
The organization, Historic England may be fighting to save our historical buildings, but no one seems to be fighting for people’s souls or attempting to re-capture the true comradeship and morality which once existed.
In a nutshell the site of Coventry Cathedral, with the new and the old living alongside each other is a microcosm of what the whole of the UK is. There is a false light which is artificial in nature attempting to displace the genuine.
Our Need for Light
An inner light which does not require the reflective glare of a computer, a mobile phone, or a bright orange street lamp resides inside the hearts of many people. Their direction is not ultimately governed or stolen by the goddess Alexa or her dashboard doubter Thomas; Tom for short.
A still small voice illuminates their way when they are still, plugged in, and not swayed by the distractions of life.
However, it is written and now illuminated, that there is an enemy intent on putting that light out for good. It does not, like my father once stated, request this for the sake of saving on energy bills.
Its intention is to annihilate every man; woman and child who may carry even the smallest flicker of a light which at its core possesses ‘Truth’. It wants to steal your life force.
The UK may be losing many souls which have carried this light but also there are many genuine souls which are becoming brighter, or suddenly having their lights internally switched on to the darkness which is posing as ‘light’ in our modern day world.
Sometimes the question is ‘how tired are you of suffering’ and how switched on are you to a light force which gives you real energy and illumination in the darkest of days.
Let there be Light
The shortest day in terms of daylight hours in the UK is the 21st December. Days will then start their cycle of becoming lighter and lighter by a few minutes each day. For some, there is sometimes a sigh of relief and a sense of hope that new beginnings are just around the corner. Is it possible that a Creator designed the planets and the seasons in this fashion to remind us of our needs and that somewhere along the line ‘sun worship’ and idolatry became more fashionable?
As twinkling lights now start to appear in many homes in preparation for the event of Christmas, there are so many people who will miss the meaning of what Light really is; and who it is.
There will also be some religious persuasions who will point out the pagan roots of celebrating Christmas, and the obvious fact that Jesus was probably not born on the 25th December.
However, the question should be on what day was you born, and when did you wake up? When did you really realize the need for light and truth on those days when darkness and depression threatened to overwhelm you?
A Light Shining in the Darkness
As I think of my late father’s insistence on turning all the lights off, I sometimes also remember the small torch I would use to read a little Gideon’s bible which I had. At night, and as a child, when I was afraid of the dark, I always read Page 6, as I quoted it back then. This little verse has kept a small light burning for many years, and it is probably the only verse I can ever truly remember.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2)
Based on this story of Light, we can remember the source of where real hope and joy comes from and whatever the season find Peace on the darkest of days……..
© 2019 Shirley Edwards, All Rights Reserved