July & August = Holidays: however long ago we left school, and for some of us that was a long while ago, the memory of the last day of term and six weeks holiday stretching out before us runs very deep. So July & August = Holiday even for those of us who take our main holidays outside these months!
Duncan and I have recently returned from our main holiday, taken this year in Mallorca in May. It was very beautiful, with views of the sea one way and the mountains the other. When our children were younger we tended to holiday in Turkey and Greece, but we have been looking for someone new to make new memories now they are grown up.
However it is equally true that, along with many others, there is another reason we have changed location. Both the Bodrun peninsula and the Greek islands is where many refugees and economic migrants have gathered looking to move on to new lives in safety and security. I am ashamed to say this means that tourism in these areas is down whilst visitors to Spain are up at least 30%. When on holiday most of us want to turn a blind eye to the problems of the world, even if the challenges of life do not go away.
Yet being on holiday made me realise just how blessed we are. Being made to wait at the train station at Soller along with several hundred others because those from the cruise ship had priority meant tensions ran high. We only had to wait half an hour, our lives were not in danger, most of us did not have small children to protect but still people almost fought to get through the barrier. I had a tiny, insignificant, insight to the plight of many, many people all made in the image of God, fleeing from the worst nightmare scenarios being met with man-made barriers. I do not claim to have any answers but it renewed my commitment that the very least we can do is pray and support organisations that are looking for answers, in our name. However much I might not want to look the challenge to all of us remains.