Sarah Everard is the latest of many, many people whose tragic death has uncovered deep, long-standing issues within society.
Think too of others – Sarah Payne. Suzy Lamplugh. Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Emily Davison.
You can probably think of others. People who have been more influential in death than in life.
Throughout history there have been many such seminal moments. Times when as a society and as individuals we are forced to face up to that which has been left unaddressed, avoided or denied.
The Pankhursts. Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela. Martin Luther King.
Once again, you can probably think of others – why not make a note of them here.
We might think of other occasions which have challenged the status quo and influenced change. In the 1980s, the Faith in the City report uncovered that which had been hidden in our inner cities. In the work I used to do, changes in equality legislation enabled significant improvements; and the work of Dame Carol Black in the mid-2000s brought workplace mental health to the fore. In the intervening decades, the change has been noticeable but is still ongoing.
Will the legacy of Sarah Everard, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, IICSA, Living in Love & Faith make a difference? It will probably be many years before we know the full impact.
People can have a lasting influence on each one of us – I know they have for me. I can think of several individuals I’ve known who through the things they said or did have helped shape the person I am. Perhaps you can recall some too.
I wonder what societal reaction Christ’s death would have if it took place today. An innocent 33 year-old. Killed in a barbaric way. There would be swathes of flowers and social media videos. Maybe protests too. (The resurrection branded as ‘fake news’…)
Would we remember his life, his teaching and the miracles?
As we move on through Lent and gradually approach Easter, maybe it’s a time to reflect on Christ’s lasting influence on society and on each one of us…
Thank you for reading this post – please do share it with others. If you’d like to follow the Easter journey there are some short films you may like to use.