8 September – Rev’d Chris Williams Rector, St Mary’s, Liss

I can’t take any more

Reading the reports from Afghanistan recently, it has been hard to cope with the images and stories of so much suffering. And this on top of the recent reports of fires, floods, violence, racism, greed and injustice as well as all the stresses and strains of our own lives and those we love and care for. And, of course, the ongoing challenges of covid which has become the backing track to all our lives. And who knows what additional suffering might be bombarding our hearts by the time you read this.

Yesterday, I read these words in a blog of a fellow church leader: “I just do not think our psyches were developed to hold, feel and respond to everything coming at them right now; every tragedy, injustice, sorrow and natural disaster happening to every human across the entire planet, in real time every minute of every day. The human heart and spirit were developed to be able to hold, feel and respond to any tragedy, injustice, sorrow, or natural disaster that was happening…in our village.”

She also goes on to say: “I’m not saying we should put our heads in the sand, I’m saying that if your circuits are overwhelmed there’s a reason and the reason isn’t because you are heartless, it’s because there is not a human heart on this planet that can bear all of what is happening right now.”

Jesus said ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, so we do have permission – indeed, a responsibility, to care for ourselves. Some of us might need to hear that right now. How can you protect yourself so that you can continue to love others?