Written by the Vicar of Bromley, this report appeared in the Bromley & District Times on 30th June 1944
Goebbels has been having a field day. The description of London under a pall of smoke with the arterial roads packed with crowds of refugees, and the life of the city disrupted, has proved a welcome diversion to a war-weary people whose eyes reluctantly were being compelled to look more towards Cherbourg.
But actually in one respect his claims are not entirely wide of the mark, for we, too, have been tempted to let “doodle-bugs” loom larger in our imagination than Normandy, to think of our own inconveniences and losses rather than of the infinitely greater sacrifices that our men are making on our behalf across the Channel and in other sectors of our far flung battle line.
While every sympathy goes out to those who have lost loved ones and homes as a result of these new raids, yet the great majority of our people are not affected by them. But do not many speak and think as if they are? Insofar as Goebbels has made us think more of ourselves and less of others, he has achieved a success.
So if he is not to be allowed to exploit this “victory,” we need to do two things; when these creatures come along, not to say “Will they drop on my home? Shall I be affected? What if I lose anything?” bu rather, “How can I help those who have already suffered? Can I go and be with somebody who is far more afraid than I am, someone perhaps who is all by herself and whom I can cheer by my company?” Do that, and Goebbels’ first aim of directing our attention from the war effort to ourselves is defeated.
Valuable as such action is, however, in helping to overcome the instinct of fear, there is one other way more effective still. It is seeking in all things to do with the will of God. For He has a purpose for our lives -we are not just ants, but men and women made in His image – and if we are out to help His purpose for us, then our protection becomes His responsibility : we can go our way unafraid knowing that what ever happens, we are in His care. This is the Christian faith, this is the advantage of being a Christian. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor any other thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”