SPRING HAS sprung here in Northern Ireland, and yet it’s hard to fully appreciate it since the whole country and entire British Isles are on complete lockdown now due to Covid-19.
It still feels very surreal, to say the least. It all still seems incredibly strange at best.
These beautiful wild daffodils were found blooming gracefully, unassumingly, on my now daily afternoon walk down my local otherwise deserted country lane, on my one legally allowed outing for excercise allowed daily in the present lockdown in the UK. For a brief few minutes it was as if all was well with the world.
Boom. Half an hour later I was back to reality. A multitude of covid related thoughts bombarded my mind.
Contrary to my last post, in which I wrote about my lack of fear about covid-19 despite finding myself designated to the high risk group told to ‘shield’ or quarantine, opposite emotions are also completely to be expected and more than fine. It’s important we give ourselves, and others, plenty of grace in these days.
Emotions matter, and our mental health depends on being able to acknowledge them and be real about them all – whether good, bad or ugly.
Fear is to be entirely expected in this season and indeed new era we now find ourselves in, certainly in the British Isles.
But it also doesn’t have to be our experience. As my last post testified to.
Fear without the Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ – in our lives and heart, is to be entirely expected, and indeed entirely logical. How can one not have great fear if one doesn’t have a supernatural form of peace found only in another non-earthly realm?
So it’s questionable how someone who is not walking with Jesus at this time could not have a plethora of deeply trouble emotions right now, in conjunction with the deeply troubling facts and thoughts now swirling around most people’s heads and hearts.
It would probably be very strange indeed if they didn’t.
In addition, it’s also completely fine for followers of Jesus to also admit they are fearful.
Just because I am not in great fear right now (for which I’m very thankful and praise God for), I completely empathise with those who are.
It’s okay – and indeed fine – to acknowledge that (being in fear), be real about this, and bring that and all the other host of over-stimulated emotions we are all feeling, before our Father God in prayer.
That’s another reason prayer is so vital in these days. I’d question how anyone can truly come into a place of real peace right now without prayer. But maybe I’m wrong.
Anxiety, stress and indeed terror seem perfectly normal human responses right now to all we are going through in the British Isles – and that’s not even on the front line.
For me, the past few days have been a further little rollercoaster if honest.
All of us are dealing with daily shock – at the way things have changed and are developing in this crazy pandemic situation unfolding by the hour in our nation, and Europe as a whole. Not to mention USA.
Grief is also a major emotion we are all dealing with – just at the loss of our former way of life and freedoms we so much took for granted. I know I certainly am.
I also feel a certain amount of healthy fear for all my NHS friends on the front line – and have channelled that into daily prayers for them, and a now weekly intentional day of fasting for those working as doctors, nurses and the like.(If you’d like some specific prayer, and we havn’t already connected, feel free to private message).
The horrendous scenes in Italy and tragically spiralling death figures not only there but alson in Spain, France and increasingly here in the UK and Ireland, not to mention the horrendous escalating situation in New York, are very sobering to say the least, and devastating to consider.
Each case is a person. Each person represents a family losing a loved one and grieving deeply. My heart goes out to them, and quite honestly, as I hinted at in my first post, I wrestle ongoingly with a sense of uselessness in this situation, stuck at home, in quarantine. The do-er in me wants to be more active at this time, and yet my body and my doctor, and indeed God, are telling me to rest. Be still and know HE is God. Good to remember eh? Not so easy always (or at all) to practise, as Northern Ireland people.
Everyday now I make it my practice to take daily communion, remembering Jesus’ body and blood broken and shed for us, and invoking the power of that same blood to both pray and believe in faith for protection for my family members and I. It also brings healing where it is needed too, in addition to the normal repentance of sins that goes with taking communion (or for Catholics, taking Mass). This act is something I highly recommend as something practical and mystically powerful at this time. Even if you’re an athiest reading this, try it, try praying. You just might thank me for it.
The day is just ending here, after the clocks’s went forward last night for long Summer evenings to ensue.
Thank goodness for beauty and creation I am extremely blessed to live around.
Stay safe and check back mid-week for more.