25 September 2020

This is a long haul, isn’t it? 

Perhaps you’re out working, and worrying about whether your contact with co-workers or commuters might endanger you or the people you love. 

Perhaps your job is on the line, or has already been lost to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Perhaps you have been sick, and the recovery seems long and wearying. Or perhaps it’s someone you love and you are watching them struggle.

Perhaps your life has been changed forever by bereavement. This time of distancing and isolation is a harder time than ever to carry that load.

Perhaps you are sad, or afraid, or lonely, or angry, or just feel that the best parts of living have been removed.

Perhaps you’re watching all these things happening around us, and feeling bleak. Uncertainty is an uncomfortable companion. 

Now is a time for us all to look out for each other. While we’re protecting each other by wearing masks and maintaining distance, how can we still support and encourage each other?

Things we can still do:
- make eye contact. I promise it’s 100% safe.
- smile. That kindness shows above your mask and warms your voice. It really makes a difference. 
- speak. Yes, it’s harder with a mask on. But we can greet each other instead of avoiding. 
- listen. Phones are still working even when we can’t meet up.
- turn up. Our lonely people aren’t waving flags to tell us. Seek them out & check in regularly by phone, by visiting through a window or by video calls.
- notice. Tiny moments of being really present rebuild our inner resilience. Focus entirely on your coffee; the sounds around you; a photograph you love; a book; a bath. Keep a diary of your uplifting moments; add to it daily, re-read it regularly.

By finding ways to keep our own lights on, we can encourage others, too. Yes, there are dark corners where our sadness remains. But knowing where to find the light eases our distress. And shining our own lights gives hope and direction to other people.

There’s no doubt that we’re all in this together. Let’s offer each other some light. - (c) Dr Kathryn Mannix 

We would also add: pray and chat to God. There is a great value in ‘telling the story’ to get it off our chest. When we then reflect on how we feel after telling God our woes, it may be that something has changed within us....all are ‘answers’ to prayer but maybe not the ones we were expecting...