By Roger Quick
Yesterday I was feeling a bit off-colour, a cough, and overnight some shortness of breath. This morning I tested positive for Covid. That means that my already hard-pressed colleagues at the Crypt will have to manage without me for at least a week.
Times of illness are strange. We are like a three-legged stool, body, mind and spirit. When one leg collapses, the other two get badly affected. That has been my experience, at least.
In times of illness, it can be hard to pray – or rather it can feel hard to pray. Sometimes all I seemed to be able to pray was “Help!” Then a friend encouraged me by saying that that too was fine, straight out of Psalm 40: “O Lord make haste to help us”.
In times of mental illness, just repeating the set form of words may be all we can do. After all, feeling good about prayer is for our benefit, not the Almighty’s.
We try to give thanks for everything. Sometimes it is hard; but that is how the Good Shepherd leads us to a greater reliance, a deeper trust. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Six of my oldest friends have been given terminal diagnoses in the last two months. In the end, our diagnosis is always terminal. But not so! For here we have no abiding city; the Lord has gone before us to prepare a place for us. And His will is perfect. “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come”. Hebrews 13:14 New Living Translation.
By Roger Quick
Chaplain St Georges Crypt
Author of Sheltering Saints