I’d like to say some nice things to you, even to say that you are welcome, but the fact is that you are not! You are not welcome, and frankly this is not a good time for you to come visiting, actually there is no good time, just so we are clear, you are an unwanted and unwelcome guest in many ways, but here you are, so I thought I’d take the time to have a chat with you, and wonder what it is that you have to teach me today.
I know it is you, because I feel off balance, my heart is in my mouth and breathing is difficult, I’d like to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head, but I suspect I wouldn’t sleep, so let’s talk instead. I know why you are here, things have been pretty stressful recently in all sorts of ways, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you have turned up!
So, tell me, how are we going to live through this together, because we both know that there are more stressful days ahead, and the going will be tough for a while?
I’d love to hear your suggestions.
First of all, thank you for noticing me and naming me, thank you too for taking the time to talk with me, many people don’t and try carrying on as usual, sometimes I have to shout really loudly to get people to notice me. I suspect you feel that I am shouting loudly now, I’m sorry about that.
You’re right of course, my visit was inevitable, the last few months have been very stressful, and there is more to come as you’ve said. I would like to make a few suggestions for you:
- Don’t be too hard on yourself, my visit isn’t a sign of weakness, and that fact that you have taken notice could even be a sign of strength.
- Instead of going back to bed, may I suggest that you get outside for a walk, it might even help you to sleep.
- Try to eat well, regularly and sensibly, I know that bag of crisps looks like a good idea, but how about soup for lunch?
- Have a shower, wash you hair, moisturise, it will help you to feel better.
- Do something you enjoy, read, draw, take some photos..
- This might feel daunting, but dare to tell others how you are feeling, you may find many understand!
These are just a few suggestions, there may be other things that will also help, but don’t treat them like a to do list and beat yourself up if you can’t achieve them every day, remember be gentle with yourself, it’s what you’d tell others to do.
Finally pray, even if your prayer is wordless, so often your sermons remind people that they are loved, that they are precious and honoured by God, so often you state that none are excluded, if you have no words, then meditate on these, for they are so often yours:
YOU ARE LOVED, YOU ARE PRECIOUS, YOU ARE HONOURDE, AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN SEPERATE YOU FROM THE DEEP LOVE OF THE DIVINE, YOUR CREATOR WHO KNOWS YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH.
I will finish my letter now, I am not sure how long I will be staying, I am a rude visitor in that way, but if you dare to learn from me, and when you dare to acknowledge me, you may find that I am not so much uncomfortable, but a call to you to rest!
Could it be, that in a strange way we are actually friends?
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out ? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11: 28-30