When I got home last night, I turned on the radio and discovered that the story I’d briefly noticed on social media a little earlier was not a false alarm. Bad things had been happening in Westminster, London, outside the Houses of Parliament. That wasn’t really the mood music I’d wanted while preparing for my gig. As it turned out, the gig went down very well and the shadow from London didn’t stretch that far but it still felt a little disquieting; enjoying happiness while knowing that, not so far away, a lot of people were in distress.
I am normally out of bed before Thought for the Day comes on Radio 4 but, after pouring out my energy last night into a high octane performance, I was treating myself to a mini lie-in. The observations from Rt Rev Nick Baines (Bishop of Leeds) were helpful. He was in the Lords and preparing to lead prayers as the news came in. Without downplaying the wickedness of the attack, he gently pointed to the many people who did well. The police mobilised to respond to the threat and Westminster Abbey offered sanctuary to those trapped in the area. Although evil was done, much good was also done and much kindness shown.
It isn’t as news worthy but, whether in response to an incident or woven into day to day living, the practice of such virtues is a quietly powerful response to those who think their raging violence will endure against faith, hope and love.