Thought for the Day – Light and Dark Days – by Rev Gayle Taylor

“As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them.” Luke 24 v 15

This morning it’s lovely to see the sun shining after a few days of cloud and rain and to perhaps want to get out for a walk. Everything feels brighter and more positive in the light and spring offers that new season and feeling of hope and energy.

Yesterday we spoke about how faith helps love to grow and love drives out fear. Whilst people of faith promote a focus on light and love and positive thinking, there is also a need not to be flippant and simply say “everything will be alright” but to be brave enough to find out why people are fearful or hurting. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,” Carl Jung wrote, “but by making the darkness conscious.”

The church therefore offers different ministries to people who need their struggles and suffering to be acknowledged, understood and addressed. In these times when we are not able to physically walk with or be alongside people, can we find ways to deepen our pastoral support of one another in a way that still feels like companionship on the road.

This week I have invited a number of our church team of staff and volunteers to make phone appointments with people in the groups they normally go to. Rather than thinking you’ll give someone a random call every so often to check how they are, make it more intentional, an agreed time, perhaps the same time every week. This regular, intentional contact help relationships to deepen where people feel they can share their light and their dark feelings with another who will go the distance and keep walking with them.

I love this quote from Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal theologian – “The best thing to do when fear has a neck hold on you is to befriend someone who lives in real and constant fear. The best thing to do when you are flattened by despair is to spend time in a community where despair is daily bread. The best thing to do when sadness has your arms twisted behind your back is to sit down with the saddest child you know and say, “Tell me about it. I have all day.” The hardest part about doing any of these things is to do them without insisting that your new teachers make you feel better by acting more cheerful when you are around. After years of being taught that the way to deal with painful emotions is to get rid of them, it can take a lot of reschooling to learn to sit with them instead, finding out from those who feel them what they have learned by sleeping in the wilderness. . . . “

Lent is a wilderness time and even more so in this time of lock down; we have the time and the opportunity to learn and go deeper in faith and love.

Today’s prayer:

A Hymn for Corona Virus Days  

(to be sung to the tune “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”) 


In times of danger and of doubt,

When trials multiply,

Lord, calm our fears and still our souls,

Remind us of your truths of old:

Help us on you rely.

Help us on you rely.

When changing our familiar ways,

Help us adapt to change;

Lord, give us persevering hearts,

A spirit fit to face the task

In comfort or in pain.

In comfort or in pain

Help us to see our neighbours’ need,

Our neighbours’ burden share;

To go for them that second mile,

To love and give and help and smile

In comfort or in pain.

In comfort or in pain.

Lord Jesus, you have suffered more,

Your pain has known no end;

You healed the sick, reclaimed the lame,

In pity share each sufferer’s pain,

On you we now depend.

On you we now depend.

By Rev Graham Leitch (Formerly Minister of Tyne Valley Parish Church)