Every week I try to direct my posts away from myself, but for some time now, they seem to always start with me. I, I, I. Obviously, that is the world I operate in and know best but there’s got to be something more to talk about.
My mum used to explain the symptom that everyone, without meaning to, gets when they are in hospital for more than a few days. They become ‘hospitalised’, unable to see anything beyond what they are experiencing. You might also call it survival instinct.
When we are going through a hard time it is so difficult to see anything else. And that’s ok. If all you can manage is to get through the day then that is enough. I’m like that a lot. But I know there’s a part of me and you that longs for a distraction, an escape from ourselves. Or, sometimes the pain around us gets so unavoidable that it wrenches our eyes away from our own world onto something much worse.
I have caught myself reading the same things on Facebook and Twitter and switching on the TV in the evenings because I’m done with thinking about myself. The news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a very sobering reminder that millions of people have it much, much worse. Of course, there has been suffering since time began, but this headline now, this horrifying reality, is hard to avoid. Shame on me for letting my own struggles take my eyes off the world’s.
It is frustrating to watch hardship and not be able to do anything to alleviate it. This is one of the many times when I remember about prayer. I have used it publicly to show concern before, when I lit a candle during the pandemic. So the majority of us cannot drive lorries of supplies into a war zone, or take refugees into our homes, but if we are that way inclined and believe in God, we can pray. Prayer is the best way of widening our confines and re-setting our perspective beyond the present struggles of our own lives, seeing the One who holds us through it all.