a scribble, an arrow and a wavy line with a question markI have struggled with what the theme of the editorial should be this week. With all the noise around us – and worry – about elections and lockdowns I find it hard to see the real stories of today. But then I read about how food banks in the UK are having to increase their provision to the most vulnerable, and that in France there are major concerns about the wellbeing of people with disabilities who are prevented from participating in work integration activities and about the care homes and schools that are struggling to keep a full staff. These are the real stories – the stories of people and places that occur every day but which we can often miss or devalue because of the bigger noises around us. These are not the stories that get pushed on social media or debated in panel shows – but they are the stories that are part of our communities.

This week saw the horrific terrorist attack in Vienna and our hearts go out to all of those affected, just as they do to all those affected in the attack in Nice last week. There are stories there too.  Stories of bravery, stories of loss, and there will be stories that are not yet known – the stories of trauma and fear that come from seeing such things – the stories of worrying about what if this happens again.

Not every story ends with a happily ever after – and not every story has clear beginning and ending. But what we can do, in all of this noise and with all of these stories, is join people as they work through their stories. We can provide them with help to process the chapter they are in and assist them in being able to move on to the next chapter. As I was also reminded by our members in Diaconie Austria, we can illuminate those stories with hope and show that darkness will always be beaten by light.

Be safe, and have a good weekend,