I know I wasn’t alone in the shelled-out, disorientated state. The trauma of Covid-19 was clearly seen after a year of coping and doing what was necessary to keep my head above water. I had many psychological and spiritual tools to my belt – from meditating to running to spending time with family – but my strength and resilience was dwindling day by day. I wondered how long I could keep it up. I wondered how long I could survive.
I opened up to my family at dinner time and they were supportive and attentive to my needs. One sister advised me to take the weekend off from work. Another sister encouraged me to contact a friend. Other family members just listened. But what I really needed to hear came from myself: to visit my local church across the road and pour out my heart in the quiet space. I mostly visited on Sundays before the pandemic, but lately I’ve been nudged to visit more frequently.
I sit down toward the centre of the church and let my pain and anguish out. I have no prayer or meditative method. I don’t need to sugar-coat my life experience. I put my hand on my heart to help me say exactly what I want to say. I try to be myself in the company of God along with a few parishioners who also come to pray. I sit back on my seat and hug myself to help give the love that I need. I close my eyes and relax my neck and head. I enter a different space: a space of contentment and calm, a space with more than enough conditions to be happy.
My walks back home, with a gentle smile on my face, tell an Easter story: an awareness of the bouncy presence of God in people, the weather, events and circumstances. The pandemic has pushed me to the edge. It has tested my inner strength. It makes each day a serious challenge. But it has also invited me to connect with my local community. It has shown me how to be more authentic and human. The church space reboots me and plunges me into a deeper relationship with God. I hope that your peaceful place – wherever it is – reboots you too.
5 thoughts on “Bombed-out and rebooted”
Long time Gavin and sorry to hear you hit a bad patch but so glad you were able to gain solace in church.
Yes, it certainly has been a bumpy ride.
Our local church has been open for a while but, although literally on my doorstep, I have not been availing oh holy mass apart from anniversary masses and special days.
Of course Sunday obligation doesn’t apply at present and I have dipped into various masses online and paid an odd visit.
I used to read at mass but feel pressured somehow to have my name back on the readers rota and have told the ‘reader coordinator’ (after several requests by him) to keep my name off until further notice. Somehow whatever you do is never enough and when I was caring for mum no one from church was particularly helpful although mum r.I.p gave her all by attending almost to the end.
Apologies Gavin as this is all my baggage.
Opportunities now for private prayer are limited to certain days 30 mins after mass and somehow the mass link has deterred me (guilt I suppose).
Yesterday on my way from town I paid a visit as timing was right. There were still people leaving mass and so no seats near the back (my Covid seat) so I ended up sitting second bench from the front where mum r.I.p & I used to sit. The experience was lovely and the small newly crowned May statue of Our Lady was facing me. Maybe Gavin this can be my sacred space for now.
Love the ‘help’ drawing in the sand.
🙏 please for my brother Raymond Gavin (1 and only sibling) who suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and is recovering here with me following discharge from Blackpool Hospital a week ago after angioplasty.
Take care 🙏❤️😊
Hi Margaret, Thank you for letting me know how you’re getting on. I am delighted you found peace up the front of the church. And I will be thinking of Raymond. Warm wishes, Gavin
You’re welcome Gavin and hope you keep well and happy. Thank you for your warm thoughts regarding Raymond.
Warm wiff St he’s to you also 🙏☘️
Thanks again Margaret!