Recent events have left me feeling helpless and in a dark place. Our decision, based mainly on lies, to leave the EU, leaves me with a sense of shame at being English. We are letting both ourselves and our European friends down badly.
We have a government which is already underfunding the NHS, our schools, and the social care provision for the poor and needy, as well as undermining the judiciary and making strangers feel unwelcome, while the wealthy prosper. I expect it to get worse.
We have a PM who lies, runs from difficulties and scrutiny, and lacks empathy & compassion. I wouldn’t trust him with sixpence.
Meanwhile, the Church of England, in a state of decline, is facing the wrong way and asking the wrong questions, at a national and at a Diocesan level.
Where is God in all this I ask myself?
The other day the friend of a friend posted on Facebook. His wife is in remission from illness and he expressed gratitude for “prayer, pills, and positivity” – a nicely balanced message I thought. Amidst predominantly supportive responses, two comments got my goat: “Don’t forget to give the doctors and drugs some credit!!” and “Why not give credit to the God we pray to?” Both of these suggestions were redundant: “pills” covered the first quibble, “prayer” the second.
1 Every human being has a vocation [a calling from God], probably several, and honouring them is what brings us fully alive. One of mine is to be a priest. I will only be fully myself by being a priest, and I will be the priest I am called to be by being fully myself: priesthood will then flow naturally through me. Every priest will exercise their priesthood in a unique way, and their other vocations will inform the way they do so. Mine has at its core a search for meaning in life: a search that involves my body, head, heart & soul. I also have a need to share what is shown me.
There comes a time when God appears to change. This may happen many times in a life. It is not so much that God feels distant or absent, though this may also be the case. It is more that you look for God in the usual place, or you think of God in the usual way, and this no longer seems to work. The usual is no longer satisfying, or now seems childish or naïve, or has become intellectually lacking. It is not that you no longer want God. It is not that you no longer want to pray. It is that you thought you knew and now you are not so sure.