Faith and love in Covid times

Helen Heath, right, with interfaith leaders Agnes Kean, Venerable Ol San and Claire Emerton. 199479_01 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Helen Heath, Greater Dandenong Interfaith Network development officer

How do we sustain ourselves, our loved ones and our community as the darkness seems to deepen, as an infectious disease re-grips our lives with its hidden threat having us mask up and face another dreary day?

Where do we find the strength to get out of bed each day and do what needs to be done?

What gives us the energy to take on each day without pulling the covers back over and sliding further into cold loneliness?

Who will be there to speak in the silence of our despair?

Having trust, confidence or faith in someone or something can help get us through, knowing that our faith within or ‘out there’ (the food grower, the pharmacist, the shop employee, the leaders and law makers) are caring for us even if it does not feel evident.

Choosing to hold on to a desire for things to improve – maybe even get better – provides an opportunity for the possible to shine, giving hope despite the darkness.

Aiming for a deep and shared connection with those encountered each day, whether by choice or chance, offers a precious moment to love and be loved.

“When the world says ‘Give Up’, hope whispers ‘Try one more time’,” as Tusha Mehta has said.

The whispers of hope come when one is able to smile, albeit through a mask at the stranger in the street as you exercise.

Or in the shop as you purchase and it’s being aware that they are doing it tough too.

It’s having patience and waiting and stepping aside if needed, when physically distancing, and hoping they can see crinkled eyes from a now-hidden smile.

Are we able to counteract the idea that even on this roller coaster ride (a ride normally equated with being a source of fun) that somehow faith, hope and love can also be infectious?

Spreading their inspiration to encourage us all, that we need each other and are all in this together?

That one way to resist the slide down is to try and remember compassionate caring given to us from our wider community and each other – that we do indeed have each other.

I pray that faith, hope and love be overwhelmingly yours and your loved ones and that together we remember: tomorrow is the dawning of a new day.

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