Real tragedies and ripples of ever increasing distress are emanating from the credit crunch. Some fear we may now be facing a 1930s "double dip" recession.
At first, this recession affected the richer entrepreneurial members of one's family, but now it is the people sitting next to one at work who are telling stories of woe. Mothers who are breadwinners forced to seek new jobs, any work even on the other side of the world, to keep their family mortgage, their "show" on the road, with their dependent teenagers collapsing in grief and stress. People in their fifties who have worked hard all their lives and were doing the last lap are now contemplating working until they die if they have a job or years of feeling useless and unwanted if they have lost a job.
Today, someone who has worked hard all his life, saw in an instant that had the timing been better, today he might have been a quarter of a million pounds richer and could have done what he wanted in later life, but instead has lost his security and must work on. He knew such thinking was futile because all that matters is what God wills, but it hurts.
I had all my superficial "dreams" shattered at 28 due to a long illness, so nothing in terms of insecurity can take me by surprise. Chronic ill health still scares me, but not so much the financial and career "test of faith". Security is not my natural state of mind. My view is that if one has one's health one has 90% of what one needs.
But I feel for colleagues' shock at suddenly discovering that life can be very fragile and that the gloss can be stripped off, in an hour. But tested Christians, who have tasted and endured pain or poverty, can reach out with words of comfort and encourage to all those around them to trust in God. This now is their "new calling".