By Angela Hughes

The United Reformed Church publishes a weekly pandemic prayer – this week it felt particularly apt, for this reader at least, and I share it with you:

O God
We are weary

Weary of the pandemic
Weary of bad news on the TV
Weary of public figures who behave like they are untouchable
Weary of civil and human rights injustices around the world

Renew us O God
Refresh us O God
Restore us O God
Reinvigorate us O God

So we can share your HOPE and LOVE with the world. Amen

By Kirsty-Ann Mabbott, a Church Related Community Worker in Coventry.

I don’t believe I am the only one weary as we continue to strive to keep one another safe, while rebuilding our confidence, lifting our spirits, and clearing our heads. Bombarded not just by bad news but by surveys, statistics, risk assessments, courses, conferences, reviews, debriefs – it is easy to feel inadequate and turn away. We are indeed weary and we may well cry out with the psalmist How long O Lord….. Give light to my eyes ….’ (Psalm 13).

Many of us are weary as the future continues to feel uncertain and the way ahead unclear.  We become preoccupied with the everyday nitty gritty of life and it is easy to lose our perspective and focus.

And then came the Tongan tsunami.  Another disaster. Tsunamis always catch my attention as we lost our youngest son on Boxing Day 2004. Over coffee with a colleague, I was reminded that she had spent 4 years in Tonga – she had many close friends on the islands and had no idea whether they were safe.  No contact only photos of the devastation and silence.  It is a silence that is hard to bear and the memories come flooding back.

And I reflect upon the impact of the world out there on our personal lives and upon the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu who rightly told us that the only way to eat an elephant is bite by bite by bite.

And this is of course the clue I need.  What holds and encourages me even in weariness? And I ponder on the life turned around – independence regained – a family fed – a job found – a relationship begun – trust grown – all those things that lift our hearts and lighten our spirits. Is this another sign of  Love at Work* ?  The LOVE of our God who is LOVE changes everything. Even my weariness in this season. I Corinthians 13: 13 ‘And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.’ *Catherine Beaumont 18/01/22.