At the moment, the world can seem very dark and watching the news can make me, and perhaps you too, feel very distressed and depressed. Covid has led to a new phenomenon, “Doom scrolling”, this is the act of consuming a large quantity of negative online news at once. Mental health experts have stated that the practice can be detrimental to mental health. To counteract this negative news, I have felt a huge sense of responsibility to point towards hope and that God is alongside us in this virus.
I was reflecting with my Spiritual Director this week, that Christians need to “hold the line”. By this, I mean we are called to cling onto hope, to look for signs of God in our midst and to pray. I came across the well known poem, ‘Footprints in the Sand’ and was reminded that during “the times of struggle, when we only see one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that God was carrying us.” Yes, we are called to “hold the line”, but we can also lament our situation, our loss, our pain and our hurts. I think our faith is weaker without taking time to lament. Our prayers should include cries of “how long, oh Lord, how long?” How long will this situation continue? We need to acknowledge that we are waiting for God to respond and to have patience. This is an honest faith, a mature faith. David, who we are told in the bible, was “a man after God’s own heart”, shouted out to God from the depths of a pit, if he can do it, so can we!
So, let’s cry out to God in our prayers, for each other, and our community; let’s take time to lament and lay our pain at the foot of the cross. Let’s protect our Mental Health by consuming only as much of the news as is really good for us.