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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Never miss a thing!


Note to Self

If theatre has survived, then go… and again look around you, at those hundreds of people sitting so close, sitting in the dark as a collective and listening to stories, and marvel at how mad and brilliant that is.’

Such evocative words from the playwright James Graham, composed recently as part of a letter that he (along with other cultural figures) sent to his ‘post-lockdown self’, sealed in an envelope to be opened next year.

What a great idea! It’s to remind him – and us, if we choose to participate – what life was like in lockdown; what we’ve missed, what we’ve welcomed, and what we’ve learned about how to live, beyond it.

Thinking about it, the last few weeks, for me, are filled with moments of awakening, like the seeds scattered in the parable of the sower.

I remember the initial, visceral shock of seeing empty shelves. No milk, no eggs, no bread. Note to self: be grateful for plenitude; think of your relationship with food, where it’s come from, and learn to grow some for yourself.

I remember the day I had to rush my wife into hospital because she couldn’t breathe properly. I choose to remind myself of that scary afternoon, even as it already starts to lose its power. How quickly we forget. I will tend this seedling with extra care, with love.

And even as lockdown ‘eases’, we remain in ‘liminal’ space. We’ve a summer without the treasures of Glastonbury, Wimbledon, the Olympics, our Christian festivals… Will we merely lament their absence, or can we be present to what’s precious in their place? By next year, I’d love to be contributing more to life creatively, and consuming less. That’s possible, isn’t it?

‘Dear Future Me,’ wrote James Graham: ‘Stay connected to your friends… Call your mum for no reason. Keeping FaceTiming Dad. Not just a call. Look at his face.’

Wise words. What would yours be? For now’s the time to think on this, to tend these seeds, to keep the soil watered, sunlit. It makes me wonder, too, what words my ‘post-lockdown self’ might send me, here, in return. ‘This, too, is the day the Lord has made,’ he might say. ‘Don’t rush straight off. You may never see the likes of this again.’


Brian Draper
For details about Brian’s work, visit www.briandraper.org


  1. Thank you, Brian. I found this really helpful and it rings true with me. “This is the day that the Lord has made” – yes, of course…however strange, however uncomfortable, however distressing, however empty, however full. There are opportunities today in lockdown, and you have highlighted some, bless you.

    By Jeremy Clare  -  19 Jun 2020
  2. I love the idea of sending letters to ourselves across the years. I found the last paragraph particularly poignant. What would our post-lockdown self be saying to us now? What are the God-given opportunities hidden like gemstones in this unexpected and undesired stage of our life? What have we been missing, overlooking, refusing to think about for all these years, which we can now give our attention to? Thanks Brian.

    By Martin Tiller  -  19 Jun 2020
  3. Good thoughts Brian; thank you!


    By Chris Fry  -  19 Jun 2020
  4. Brian Draper – always worth a read!

    By Rob Friday  -  19 Jun 2020
  5. Thanks Brian. Helpful reflection with practical implications. Not too late to apply. God bless you.

    By Hugh  -  19 Jun 2020
  6. ‘By next year, I’d love to be contributing more to life creatively, and consuming less.’
    Great thought. Me too. And hopefully lots of others…!

    By Bruce Gulland  -  19 Jun 2020
  7. Thanks for this and all the passages I get from LICC.

    By Philip Hamilton  -  19 Jun 2020

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