Heads, shoulders, knees, toes…


We’ve got a lot of heads working hard right now, researching, thinking, analysing, planning. Asking questions about big things like economy and death rates and poverty. A lot of heads that are clever and working hard, and some that are less so. Heads belonging to leaders or politicians or scientists and to the rest of us regular people in regular jobs. Our brains are clicking away through all our usual pedestrian worries – and bigger ones too – and really we are all just asking the question ‘where on earth do we go from here?’

There are a lot of shoulders sagging with the weight of responsibility, grief, isolation, illness and stress. The shoulders of healthcare workers and the bereaved, world leaders, those who are ill, those who are not. Carrying weighty things, things so much bigger than us. Big numbers. Big implications. Big emotions. Big timescales… These things get heavy.

There are a lot of knees weakening. Some of us were once sure of ourselves, or sure of our country or our systems or our privilege. And now, we find our stance a little less sure, a little less strong. We’re unsettled, scared even. Vulnerable.

There are a lot of restless feet, longing to travel or to get back in the office or to run towards loved ones we’ve not seen. Some of us stand on weary feet, achingly tired after long shifts serving our communities.

We’re living in testing, sad, strange times.

I pray that all of our heads, in all our analysis and opinion, would be filled with determination, imagination and collaboration. But more than that, I pray that we’d realise that our heads aren’t the only answer. I pray that those brains of ours would find peace in admitting we don’t know. We haven’t all the answers. Even the most intelligent among us have but part of the picture. I pray that in the wake of this, we’d discover the beauty and paradoxical strength of humility. I pray that we’d turn to God for help.

I pray that all of us whose shoulders sag with burdens or illness or worry or fear, would find ourselves at peace, the peace the Bible speaks of that ‘transcends understanding’. I pray that we’d find in this dark time the light inside ourselves, the unique glimmers of hope and love that we, each in our own way, can offer the world. I pray that we’d find ourselves uplifted by the ‘everlasting arms’ and held in our sadness. I pray that we would find a whole new confidence that comes from knowing that nothing – not fear or illness or failure or anything else – can separate us from God’s love. A confidence that comes from finding hope and faith in the unexpected. 

I pray that when our knees feel weak and our stance shaky, we would hold each other up, a community reminded of our equality, the proud made humble and the humble raised up. I pray that we’d know we do not walk alone. I pray that we’d let others carry us when we need to. That we’d let Him carry us. I pray that we would kneel as we look for help and hope and light.

I pray that we’d keep putting one gentle, determined foot in front of the other. I pray that when we can, when our feet are free to come and go as they please, that we’d find new directions, new paths to walk in. Paths that lead us to those in our world we had forgotten, those we should have reached out to, a planet we should have cared for better. I pray that with these feet we’d bring joy and comfort and hope in the midst of suffering and heartache and fear.

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