Ever since I started writing this Blog, my mind has been a constant whirl of ideas and things to say. I’ll hear a song or get an idea and think, “Yes, that’ll be a good theme for the next post” but by the time I get home to my PC I’ve forgotten what it was I’d thought about! They call it “ having a senior moment”. The only trouble is I’ve been having these moments for about twenty years!!
However, I was standing sheltering from the rain recently and passing my time until it was possible to walk to my car without arriving looking like a drowned rat, and suddenly the thought of sheltering not from rain but from air raids and bombs popped into my head. I know! I can hear you say, “Strange woman!” but that’s me!
So, I was immediately transported back in time to the air raid shelter we had in our garden when I was small.
During the Second World War many families had an Anderson shelter in the garden.
You can get the idea from the picture above, but it didn’t stop at just the plain corrugated iron shelter. There were even competitions in some areas for the best-kept shelter and people would go to great lengths to fit them out, often lavishly furnished. Sometimes they would be buried deep in the garden with steps leading down, for extra protection in case of an air attack.
These shelters were issued free to all householders who earned less than £5 a week, and those with a higher income were charged £7. Almost 2 million shelters of this type were distributed from February 1939 to the outbreak of war. During the war a further 2.1 million were erected. At the end of the war in Europe, households who had received an Anderson shelter were expected to remove their shelters and local authorities began the task of reclaiming the corrugated iron. Those who wished to keep their Anderson shelter (or more likely the valuable metal!) could pay a nominal fee.
I never remember having to run into the shelter on hearing the siren, but I do remember that after the war Dad transformed it not into a garden shed for himself but into “Rose Cottage” for my sister and I to play in. Mum provided curtains and bits of furniture and we spent many happy hours in there. We were the envy of our neighbours’ kids, as, presumably, they had returned theirs after the war. When I left that house in 1957 Rose Cottage was still there – I wonder if it’s still standing today.
But thoughts of other kinds of shelter have since found their way in the “waiting to be blogged” file.
In Isaiah chapter 25 verse 4 we learn that God is
“….a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.”
Likewise in Psalm 46 verses 1 and 2 say:
”1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
You can find countless other verses in the Bible that tell of God’s unfailing love and protection. I have had times in my life, before and since being Christian, when I felt everything was going pear-shaped. But, by trusting God and knowing that He is there always and cares for me and loves me, then I have received His strength. He is my shelter from the storms of life. Praise His Name!
May my God bless you as you read this.