'We may all be different, but we all have something in common'

It's been fun watching the people on our estate walking past during lockdown. They come in all shapes and sizes.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Dogs of all shapes and sizes could be seen

Some stroll along casually, others walk purposefully, as if on a mission. One or two jog.

Sometimes there is an envelope in hand as they make their way to the postbox at the end of the road, or they go one way empty handed, returning with a newspaper or a carrier bag.

Most often they come and go singly, but sometimes in groups of two or three.

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The Reverend Dr Peter Shepherd

Some couples hold hands, talking animatedly; others walk in silence, keeping their distance.

The variety of fashion is fascinating. As soon as the sun comes out, shorts appear. The braver ones are happy in T-shirts, whatever the weather. There are walking boots, sandals, trainers, smart shoes.

Equally interesting are the dogs. Even more varied than the people!

Big lollopy ones, tiny frisky ones, young alert ones, old reluctant ones, hairy ones, smooth ones, frequently stopping ones, eager to get on ones.

I wonder, sometimes, as I look at the other end of the lead, who is leading who.

Then there is the occasional horse, trudging patiently from the nearby stables with rider on board.

Vehicles are not so interesting, although it is intriguing when a lorry with building materials passes by.

Who on the e state is having a new extension, or a drive, or a patio?

Delivery vans have become commonplace. And here is the familiar red Royal Mail van.

Will it be our usual postman, vaping as always, or a replacement?

Early risers are off to work in Audis and Volkswagens, pensioners mid-morning in Fords and Kias.

All are unique individuals, each with his or her own personal story to tell.

Most of them I have never spoken to, and never will.

In most respects, they are unknown to me.

But they are known to God.

The Gospel stories of Jesus frequently show how, when pressed by crowds, He noticed individuals.

We are all – whatever our circumstances, however we walk or dress, whatever cars we drive, or dogs we walk – individuals known to God and embraced by His love.

The Reverend Dr Peter Shepherd is a member of Cemetery Road Baptist Church, Napier Street, Sharrow – see crbchurch.org.uk