Shepton Beauchamp

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church:vicars_letters:jan2012mag

COPING WITH DISTRESS

What can we do in the face of a disastrous situation we cannot alter? When someone has to bear this, there is a period of time when we find ourselves feeling helpless. The pain is not easy to reach into and heal. Poets and novelists may offer some insight but no one can do much to take away the pain.

There are some things in life before which we simply stand helpless. For a time, the pain can be so deep that no therapy, and no words of comfort can do much for us. Eventually we begin to emerge from the grip of that over-concentration and, still further down the road, are able to regain our freedom and resiliency. But there is a time during which our friends could do nothing for us other than to stay close to us.

What can anyone say to someone caught up in this way? We have our stock expressions: life must go on, every morning will bring a new day and eventually time will heal things, remember too you are not alone; you have family and friends to lean on: beyond that, you have faith. God will help you through this.

All this is true, but not particularly consoling or helpful during a period of deep unhappiness. It may be that only time can bring about healing; meanwhile the only real option is to try to get one foot in front of the next, stoically, holding our pain with as much dignity as we can muster, waiting for time to work its healing.

Yet there is something that can help make the unbearable more bearable, namely, a more conscious, deliberate effort to love that which, beneath everything else, animates and directs it. It’s not easy. But we do it when, despite our frustration, and anxiety, we let our generous and deeper side be the deepest voice inside of both our sympathies and our actions.

When we are brought to our knees by frustration, the best thing we can do is to remain kneeling in helplessness before God - who will help us in God’s own way in God’s own time, and bring some good out of the most disastrous situation. Rom 8.28

From the Church Registers

30 November Eileen “Paddy” Moulding 93 yearsFuneral and burial at Barrington
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