I am writing this in advance on Sunday 29th having just listened to the sermon from Bishop Justin broadcast on Youtube from the Wellington Diocese, since we are all still in lockdown. It has been a week of ups and downs for me. We are due to come out of Level 4 to Level 3 lockdown on Tuesday Night at Midnight. After that I am facing moving house with 3 disabled adults and very little help, because we can only expand our bubble by 1 person in level 3 to help us move - our truck driver. Maybe as you read this I may be unpacking in our new home and the worst of all the stress and work will be behind me.
So why am I doing another "Prayer for the Sick" Day. For a number of reasons. I am all too aware that I am one of the lucky ones. I am in New Zealand but NOT in Auckland or Wellington. Auckland will remain in lockdown for longer. The numbers of cases are still steadily growing although level 4 has kept it in Auckland. Thank you Jacinda. But I have family in Auckland and a cousin in Wellington who is a close contact to one of the cases and is isolating - the family is anxious.
I was aware of the growing number of cases in NSW Australia 1218 new cases today and overnight 6 deaths. I have personal close friends in Queensland, Australia and you can't help but worry for your friends with this kind of news. Then I heard after the Church service the numbers from Fiji - little Fiji had over 200 new cases overnight and they have had 11 deaths, 2 of them children. My heart goes out to them and my prayers.
The situation in Kabul in Afganistan is so serious - as I understand it over 500 people who supported the NZ troops on Peace-keeping duty were left behind and for many that could mean certain death at the hands of the Taliban. Not everyone who wanted to get out was able to do so. We need to pray for them and the protection of our brothers and sisters in Christ there.
Haiti is still going to be recovering from the massive earthquake and its aftershocks.
All this could make one start to wonder does God actually care? Yes, He does care. Bishop Justin today quoted Winston Churchill - "Never let a good crisis go to waste", which is a famous observation Churchill made during the bleakest days of World War II. What Churchill meant by it is simple but profound: Dramatic change inevitably uncovers fresh insight, and points to opportunities for growth. Justin basically talked today about us spending these last days of lockdown not pushing down the pain and emotions triggered by lockdown. Instead take the time to clean out your internal basement with Jesus help. Taking the time to work on your mental and emotional (soul) health - taking out all those hidden feelings and pain that we have buried because we are too busy to deal with them, often deliberately and examining them prayerfully, in the light of Christ's love, with His help, and the support of loved ones around us. Coming out of lockdown, more whole with greater spiritual self-knowledge. Don't just get through it - "Never let a good crisis go to waste" It's a huge challenge - not sure I can face that one until after the shift. It is important to remember, healing can be a painful, ongoing, circular process. If you can't face that today, just pray, there’s always tomorrow. If you atart it and feel like your taking one step forwards and two steps back, that's OK. Every day is a new day, and there is no deadline or set timeline to healing. Just give yourself time and remember, this too shall pass and you are a child of God. You are loved.