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Reform Magazine | October 30, 2020

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Commitment-Phobe: Compassion please

Commitment-Phobe: Compassion please

Can churches encourage self-compassion?

As you read this, it’s October. Children throughout the country, including my own, will hopefully have spent a month at school without complications, quarantines, or lockdowns. Many people will be doing some version of their old commute and be spending at least some of their week in the office. Most churches will still be operating online services, but some will have found a way to provide an in-person, pared-back version of church.

For me, this is all to come. Right now, anxiety is rife. Rather than jumping for joy that the new term brings hours of peaceful childless time, I am worried. The last six months has taken its toll on my mental health. As an anxious person, the removal of my usual routines and distractions has not been beneficial in the long term. The solace that I have always found in church life has not been present. And, as for many of us, things that seemed certain have felt less certain to me.

This is particularly the case in the area of social activity. As a family we have tended during lockdown to lean towards carefulness and hypervigilance. We haven’t gone to the pub, we haven’t been on the underground, we haven’t got on planes. We live in a small flat with no garden, so we haven’t had friends coming around. It has been pretty miserable at times. Meanwhile, at the other extreme, some people from our church acquaintance have gone on anti-mask strikes and got caught up in anti-vaccine conspiracy theory…

Commitment-Phobe is a Christian

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This is an extract from an article published in the October 2020 edition of Reform

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