This morning I was up at 7.30 am. (I know – ridiculously early for some, middle of the day for parents of toddlers) and I needed to go out. Not ‘out out’ in the sense of getting dressed up, or even showering come to that, but just out to feel the cool breeze on my face, the ground beneath my feet and say hi to the dog walkers.
I needed space.
Now, just in case you’re worried, I haven’t fallen out with my husband, so we are not at the stage of dividing the CDs. I’ve just felt this week, – oh I don’t know, a bit overwhelmed by the news. I’m not sure if I can even feel a bit overwhelmed or if, by definition being overwhelmed has to be the Full Monty of lying down in a darkened room with a paper bag over my head. But I have felt overwhelmed enough to want to take myself off to a quiet place for a while and have a few words with God. (There’s a good precedent for that if I remember rightly.)
Hence the early morning outing.
So, I walk and mutter under my breath and I ask God to help those poor poor people in Kabul trying to get on a plane. And the children - oh especially the children. I want to gather those infants into my arms and give them warm milk and biscuits and sit them down in front of a few episodes of ‘Hey Duggee’. They SHOULD NOT have to be fleeing for their lives when the preoccupation of much more fortunate kids is whether they will be allowed a packet of Pom Bears before lunch.
Life isn’t fair but it’s brutally, criminally, insanely unfair for some.
So I tell God. And I tell him/her how frightened I am by what we are doing to our planet. Our home. Our little blue ball of rock circling the sun, so very very fragile and so very very threatened. I pray that governments will make right choices. (Hah! ‘Good luck with that one!’ sneers my cynical furious scaredy-cat self.) I pray that individuals will make good choices. (Same).
I pray I make right choices.
And then coronavirus...
And the whole global trauma is so huge – so many people and countries and societies and individuals in such grief and need and pain – it feels overwhelming.
So, I walk. And I talk. And I know that all I can for now is this. Walk and talk.
And I ask God what I’m supposed to do. Aside from walking and talking that is. I ask that she will show me places to go, people to meet, words to write, prayers to pray, how to drop one small ‘dew of quietness’ into this ocean of turmoil. And if enough dews are dropped, maybe somewhere, somehow, it may just begin to feel a little better. One child will be picked up and held and feel safe. One tree will be planted to produce lifegiving oxygen. One anti vaxxer will see the light and get the jab.
And in all these small instances, love wins. (Thanks Rob Bell.) And if enough tiny acts come together, then in the end, Love will win.
‘Lead me to The Rock that is higher than I,’ said the psalmist. (I wish I could write words like that.)
When you’re overwhelmed, it’s the only place to go.
And it’s a pretty big Rock. There’s room there for all the overwhelmedness of the world.
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