What do you notice? What do you need?
In a previous bulletin, I mentioned two questions that my supervising priest would ask me in my first ministry job: What do you notice? What do you need? These are great questions for checking in with ourselves, with others and with God.
Our answers to these questions will obviously differ depending on what is going on at any given moment. If you were to pause and ask yourself these questions, I wonder what your answers would be? Pausing long enough for an answer to emerge can be a gift in itself.
In COVID-19 times, we have learnt to expect the unexpected. This need for flexibility can increase our mental and emotional load. Perhaps this time has also led to new or unexpected grief, as contact with family is disrupted and workloads change. The addition of COVID-19 to our collective lives has not meant that other struggles of life have ceased. Grief and loss remain and, in some ways, have been intensified.
When we are faced with grief, it can be hard to put into words exactly what we are feeling. It can be hard to articulate what it is that we need. Sometimes the words of others can become our words. This poem by Michael Leunig has always spoken to me about the profound nature of responding to grief.
My experience of God in times of grief has been both a sense of presence and absence. Like the images in Leunig’s poem I have found that faith is nurtured in the everyday experiences of grace, which sometimes appear in a form that we might not expect.
May God’s love and peace be with you this week.