Our guest blog post today comes from Susie Ford.
Hello! I’m Susie, nice to meet you. I live in Scotland, near Dundee which is a small city on the East coast, and I spend almost all of my time with people. So, life at the moment is very different… We are living through strange times, aren’t we?
As I’m on social media and chatting (virtually of course!) I’ve noticed there seems to be two very different reactions to what’s going on at the moment. One is looking to redeem this crazy experience by telling us all the amazing things we should be doing with our time. Learn Ancient Greek. Make your own bread! Work out and get that beach ready body. Get up and do your hair and make up just like you would for work (no nasty comments from my workmates please…)
The other reaction is the polar opposite. Relax. Have a glass of wine. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Binge Netflix. Go for the isolation diet – when you see food, eat it.
The first reaction tells us we’ll feel better if we are self-disciplined. This experience won’t be so bad if you come out of it with a new skill! The second tells us we can’t be strong and the only other option is to numb our way through this experience.
I don’t know which of these you feel a stronger pull towards. I swing wildly between the two! It’s like I have an angel and a devil on my shoulders, but they’ve swapped voices. The angel hisses menacingly at me to Try Harder and Be More. The devil speaks softly to me, promising comfort if I stuff myself silly with entertainment and snacks.
Oddly, neither make me feel good. When I listen to the angel I want to curl up and die, because the reality is that some days it’s a gargantuan battle to get out of bed. I started this as an anxious person and now a simple trip out of the house leaves me shaken. I’m not strong and I’m ashamed of it. But when I listen to the devil I just end up bloated and waking at 4am when all those bottled up anxieties know they can finally command my attention.
Where can I find hope in these days? For me, there’s only one option. I have to admit that I’m weakTweet
Where can I find hope in these days? For me, there’s only one option. I have to admit that I’m weak. I can’t do this on my own. The way I do that is to call one of my amazing community of friends at church. I hate the idea that I’m being a burden to someone, but they always tell me I’m not, and I know I’ll be there for them too. They remind me I’m not alone, that we believe in a God who loves us and the world, and who wants to help. If you wouldn’t say you have faith that might sound really odd to you! If God even exists, what help can he be at a time like this? And I’m not going to lie to you – I ask that too! He certainly doesn’t make hard times simple. Christians aren’t walking around with divinely given Covid-19 immunity. We lose our health, jobs and our loved ones the same as everyone else. But we also know surprising moments of total peace and comfort, help from people who we would otherwise have nothing in common with apart from God, and the certainty that we are deeply loved even in those shameful moments when our weakness is exposed and we can’t cope. Christian faith isn’t a panacea against all ills, but it’s where I find hope when the rubber hits the road. How about you?
Christian faith isn’t a panacea against all ills, but it’s where I find hope when the rubber hits the roadTweet
Susie works for Grace Church Dundee. She is also studying theology part-time with Highland Theological College and has recently become the Scripture Union’s Regional worker for Dundee and Angus.