From Archdeacon Christopher
I am writing this immediately after the Prime Minister’s widely trailed announcement of further lockdown restrictions. The sunny uplands of the post-Covid world seem as far away as ever.
As Christians we know all about the long haul. Words like fortitude, perseverance, and courage are part of our vocabulary – we may feel like giving up but we keep going. That is because hope is an important word for us, too. Hope is not about quick fixes or easy answers; it is more strenuous than that and more resilient; it can cope with disappointment and apparent failure.
There is a cost to this, particularly for those who are having to make some sort of sense of the hopes and fears of other people, be they family members, parishioners, or whole communities. Trying to say the right thing, or simply listening, can be an exhausting business. Trying to think the right thing, to make sense of it all, is often harder. It can seem trite, or even cruel, to say that God is there in all the confusion. But there is enough truth in it for it to be worth continuing to say it and believe it. We simply go on praying and helping and thinking, attentively and intelligently – our ‘reasonable service’, as the old prayer book puts it – because we know that God loves us.
A prayer for mental health
Lord, look upon us with the eyes of your mercy.
May your healing hand rest upon us;
may your life-giving power
flow into every cell of our bodies
and into the depths of our souls,
restoring us to wholeness and strength
for service in your Kingdom.