Today I saw a map of the West Bank – a patchwork of Palestinian communities fractured by Israeli settlements, connecting roads forbidden with the threat of being shot.

This morning I worked with an amazing group of South African researchers and learnt about the huge inequalities in healthcare. Over 80% of doctors attend to only 16% of the population. Women with private health insurance have a
gynaecologist to provide personal antenatal care. Women in remote, rural areas can’t always reach a hospital with the capacity to deliver their baby alive.

Yesterday afternoon, among my list of patients, I saw four who struggle with severe, chronic mental health problems; socially isolated, paranoid, frightened and sometimes despairing.

Some days the broken body of Christ feels more present than the risen Jesus, bursting from the tomb. And it’s only two weeks since Easter….

Two weeks since Easter, and the disciples go fishing. Back to their homes, back to their work. They fish all night, but they catch nothing. And it’s there in the middle of their emptiness and exhaustion that Jesus appears. But he doesn’t say ‘stop wasting your time’. No, he says ‘keep going… cast your net again…cast it to the right side of the boat.’ That’s when their nets fill with fish. That’s when they recognise him.

Where is the right side of the boat? Maybe that’s something for us all to ponder. Some days all I can do is stay in the boat and trust that it’s enough. But some days, when it’s least expected, one of those four patients gives me half a smile (I think!), and I know the lake is full of fish.

Susannah Woodd