The vicar thinks out loud …
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up tomorrow on April 1st and discover that this last month or more has been a long and dark April Fool? But it hasn’t and we are moving into another month which will be dominated by separation and isolation and almost certainly darkening news.
Praying with hope is not easy when we know the improvement is not immediate, but it never has been.
Some are finding this harder than others – some are having it harder than others. Can we look out for each other and encourage/support each other, sensitively. We are allowed to feel down, to feel worried, frustrated, whatever, and we need to be able to express feelings, let them out in some way and not bottle them up. How we let each do this is not always easy, because me dumping all my troubles on you is not fair.
As the novelty becomes the routine, some get used to it and some become frustrated more and more.
It is always better to talk about how we feel than bottle it up. Some have discovered that they can vent to God in prayer, “Why?” “Where are you?” Don’t you know how I feel / how our family are struggling?” etc
None of us has all the answers – in fact, there are no proper answers as such to some of the “why? s”. Life is lived more than it is explained. Life is also – as we are discovering – more fragile and more constrained by externals which are not within our control.
As a church, we have been thinking in three ways – and these are now being tested rather more than we might have thought. We are challenged to Face-up – discern where God is in all this -when it is easy to look down; we are challenged to Face-outwards and be aware of, concerned for, and helping those in need (not turning in on just ourselves), and we are challenged to Look-within, to discover ourselves, find the inner energy from God’s Spirit, being honest in how we feel, alert to how we come across to others, and genuine in our prayer (not pretending to God, self or others).
As Holy Week begins on Sunday, we will find ourselves missing the normal events and the key markers for this crucial time of year. But we will have an opportunity to think afresh, differently and maybe more deeply about what it meant and means, for us and for the world.