I’ve been thinking a lot about the migrants crammed into boats on the Mediterranean, suffering, desperate, and shunned by the UK. And then at the weekend I read that more than 700 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar had been rescued from a sinking boat off Indonesia's coast. They were fleeing religious persecution and poverty.
The conditions on these ships in the far east approach the squalor and brutality of slave ships 200 years ago. The reports are shocking. How can it be that here I am safe, secure, well fed, with time to spend as I like, and at this very moment, hundreds of people are crammed onto ships desperate to escape their lives, and they are left stranded, starving, in the middle of the Andaman Sea?
And what can I do about it?
And here is another thing that puzzles me. Last night we watched Shadowlands, about C.S.Lewis and Joy Gresham. As I see it, there are two strands to the film – the love story and the religious and philosophical theme. To put the latter into a very banal nutshell, Lewis preaches that suffering and pain are lessons given to us by God to make us perfect. Then his wife dies of cancer and he is challenged by his own ideas. In the film there is a scene where Joy and Lewis are happy on holiday and she wants to talk to him about her impending death. She says “The pain then is part of the happiness now.”
I really don’t know what this means. Do you?
The double rainbow I saw out of the bedroom window this morning may or may not be relevant.