Thought for the week – 11.3 21

Jeanette Sheldrick blows the trumpet for Oban Salvation Army.

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The lockdown is going to lift at some point after Easter this year. Each of us is grappling with it, processing that thought in our own way, based on our own life experience and the information we are receiving from different sources.

Some are happy, some are sad, some are cautious, some are bold. The mind boggling thought I have is that all these reactions are valid. There is no right way or wrong way to feel about things. Every single individual’s emotional reaction is valid and should be given space to be expressed in some form or other.

For those of us of a Christian-based faith tradition, it seems especially relevant that the easing of lockdown in Scotland is happening just after Easter.

This is, traditionally, the time we remember the story in the Bible of Christ’s death on the Cross and Resurrection to Life. And we have the hope that some of the losses that we have experienced in our lives during this very difficult period will be transformed into gains.

I wonder what the word Easter means for you? For myself Easter, at this stage in my faith’s journey, represents the most powerful psychological tool I have for processing my emotional reactions to events I have no control over.

I think of Christ, God’s most powerful representation on Earth at that point, giving over control of his physical life to a painful and shameful death at the hands of the highest earthly authorities at the time. Then I consider the loss of freedom I have experienced during the lockdown, not being able to eat out in restaurants, not being able to go to the pub, drink. For me, who has been single over this time, the biggest loss of freedom was not being able to touch other people. I am a hugger. That loss of freedom is very small compared to the example Christ is to us in giving up his physical life. And I find that in making the comparison I find the way to rise about my own ’emotional reactions’ to those events in my life that are outside of my control.

As we emerge as a community from this lockdown, I hope and pray we are all, to some degree, a bit more capable of showing that loving kindness that Jesus demonstrated in his life on Earth, in death and in Resurrection. That we realise the importance of ‘being like Jesus’ to ourselves and others. By taking the time and space, and whatever other resources are needed to process all this in whatever way is necessary for us, as individuals and as community, to grieve the losses, to be able to take full advantage of the growth that has been experienced in this time.

Jeanette Sheldrick, Salvation Army, Oban.