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Produced by publishers of The Popular Village Monthly


 Social isolation


How are you finding social isolation?

The answer to that is going to be very different depending on our circumstances. Some people have never worked so hard or been under so much stress. Others are loving the quiet roads, times of silence and allowing life to move more slowly.

The schools being closed may mean more fun time with the family or the pressure of trying to work from home and teach your children which becomes more stressful as the weeks go by.

It is so easy to look at all the terrible, scary, difficult things in the world at the moment.

But we can choose to turn our gaze to the good, instead. Get a notebook and write down everything you can think of to praise and thank God for. The breath in your lungs, the sunshine pouring through the window, the people you miss, the doctors and nurses working night and day to serve and help us.

It’s natural and human to feel afraid and find the situation getting us down. We British are famous for our ‘stiff upper lip’ – for putting a brave face on things, for keeping calm and carrying on. We may need to do that in order to help others, but we don’t need to do it before God and I think at times maybe we need to be more honest with one another and admit we are finding it hard.

Be thankful for our community. The Parish Council, churches and other groups have risen to this crisis in a wonderful way so let’s make the most of that and allow them to help us. If we are finding it hard with loneliness, money worries, not being able to get shopping, let’s allow people to help us.

Just make a phone call and tap in to all that our community is wanting to do to connect with everyone. You will be helping others to feel useful and needed as well as helping yourself.

It’s easy to forget how much control we actually have over our minds.

The 20th-century preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

We tend to let our minds run where they want with a constant stream of thoughts. But talking to yourself isn’t a sign of madness, it’s a sign of wisdom.

Some of these things, in lockdown or in liberty, in coronavirus or in radiant good health, will help us to find more contentment in our lives.

I would love to recommend to you to read the psalms in the Bible. The people who wrote them were really honest with God about how they felt and God understood all those feelings and helped them to deal with them and the things they were going through. One of the most famous is Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd and below is an adaptation for the time we are going through

By Rev Kathryn Hammond


Psalm 23 (Covid-19 version)

The Lord is my companion in social isolation. I am never alone.

He gives me rest in the comfort of my own home.

He leads me along familiar pathways as I take my daily exercise.

And he restores my peace.

He leads me forwards, day by day through this strange existence.

Even though death and sadness are all around me,

I am not afraid, because you are with me.

You hold my hand, you steady my anxious thoughts,

You remind me, it’s one day at a time.

I am well fed, in spite of all the turmoil. I am blessed in an abundance of ways.

Surely you will be with me,

Surely your love, patience and peace will surround me

Throughout this time of uncertainty and far beyond.

I am with you, and you are with me, always, to the end of time.

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