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Ponderings on Isolation Day Three

It’s the little things that count most. The world of consumerism seems so far away now – when I watch adverts for clothing stores or cruises they seem like they’re from another planet. None of the things really matter, in the end. We’ve been fed a lie by society, a lie that tells us it’s only in the collecting of things that we can find happiness. But now the things have gone, and all that’s left is a trail of toilet roll.

Yet in shielding, I’ve somehow found myself talking face to face with people more than ever – I’m so grateful for technology at this time. As church, we’re learning to be the body of Christ without the building, and finding out that we never were, after all, the building. We’re finding our roots again, joining with worshippers through history who were unable to meet together for many reasons, discovering the very heart of our faith – the hope that binds us together, even on the darkest days. There is something deeply profound in what the church across the world is doing in this time – I think a book could be written on it 🙂

It’s the little things that count. For me, it’s the gift of sunshine over the past days, so that I’m able to sit in the garden and talk to my family, who I am supposed to avoid close contact with. Most of the time I am shuttered away in my little upstairs cocoon now, but those times are becoming the highlights of my day. I miss hugs, though.

I’m also discovering more and more the power of worship and prayer. The last day or so I’ve had a bit of a sore throat and some intermittent chest pain – not anything out of the norm for me, of course – but I’ve experienced a panic and anxiety like nothing I’ve ever known before regarding my illness – perhaps only comparable to the worst pneumonia I ever had a few years back, when I thought I was leaving. This time it’s different, though, because it’s a dread about something unknown. I don’t know what Covid would be like. I don’t know if I would make it. I don’t know if I would be ventilated, if there were not enough. It’s the unknown. All of these things built up and pounded me through the night, leaving me with anxiety churning through my belly. It was only turning to God that dispelled something of this, that allowed something of that peace beyond understanding to filter through and calm the churning in me. It was only worship that lifted my head and my heart and turned me to hope instead of despair.

I’m not saying that through prayer everything is fixed and OK. That’s not how it works. It’s not a vending machine. But it’s the glimpses, the sparks of hope, the thrill of anticipation, the certainty of being utterly loved. It’s all of those things that shift perspective, even in the midst of the anxiety.

It's the sparks of hope, the thrill of anticipation, the certainty of being utterly loved… these shift perspective, even in the midst of the anxiety. Ponderings on #shielded #isolation day 3. #covid19 Click To Tweet

This is a prayer I’ve written today for those who are anxious about all of this in any way:

For those in isolation, may you know the peace of God that passes all understanding.
For those who are anxious, may you know the soothing power of a God who loves you.
For those who are lonely, may you know the healing embrace of your Father.
For those who are mourning, may you know the comfort of the Holy Spirit weaving around you, washing over you and containing all that you are.
For those in pain, may you know the treasures found in the darkest places, and the hope that sparks life.
For those with the virus, may you know the glorious hope of the gospel, the God who holds you, the everlasting arms underneath you, and may you know healing from your pain.
May we all remember the work of God in our lives and choose to ‘yet praise’, to lift our eyes and find rest in God’s meadows of grace and rivers of love.

Amen.

The above picture is a decal I have up on my study wall which is reminding me through this dark time of the peace which surpasses anything else I have ever known.

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