For everyone I know to whom it’s relevant, a very happy Valentine’s Day. I hope it’s been a great day for you.
You don’t need me to say that the past twelve months has been the most surreal year. It feels like day 63,426 of the lockdown! My prayer is that all who read this (and those I know who don’t!) have been protected from the worst excesses of the virus, or have known God’s healing and blessing in it. It’s been a privilege to be asked to pray for healing for quite a number of covid ‘victims’, many have been healed, others improved, and many, many other people over the phone and internet of a large variety of other serious and not-so-serious illnesses.
My ‘style’ of praying for people has had to be ‘amended’ for praying online or phone, as I’m usually an ‘arm around’ people, and engaging with each person individually, which is obviously not possible in this ‘climate’. It’s a very different dynamic right now. I’ve been inundated with requests for prayer, and realistically can’t take all of them.
My great friend Thanney, my wonderful ‘Cali’ companion, was hit with it very badly around Christmas, quickly hospitalised for a number of days, with a very heavy-duty oxygen mask (doubtless heading for a ventilator) – but through prayer was miraculously healed and released from the hospital within 38 hours. He’s still regaining strength but is doing great.
It has been a delight, too, to be able to preach online, though it seems as the months have gone by I’ve fallen off of s few radars where that’s concerned! It seems from reading lots of social media posts that the ‘thrill’ of zoom services has waned, so that would explain it a little.
As someone who has spent a lot of his life loving people it’s been my privilege to meet, in a multitude of countries, the hardest thing for me in the never-ending lockdowns we’re living in has been not being able to be with ‘people’ or to travel. When I pray for people, wherever I am, I love to ‘engage’ people, an arm around them, a hand on their hands – and wow, do I miss people…
.I’m a ‘hugger’ – if you know me, you’ll know that (!) – and the last person I had any form of human contact with was a local doctor when he stuck needles into my knees (hardly delightful or fulfilling contact!) early in December… It would have helped more if the injections had been good, but sadly not, and made my knees worse to the point where I will have contact with a person on Tuesday – when I have more steroid injections from a different doctor to try and counter the negative impact of the last ones!
On Valentine’s Day, while I’m very aware that I’m single, it doesn’t mean I don’t want – or need – contact… I’ve been alone for nearly 20 years, so I’m used to living alone, but I live for the close friendships where I get hugged, and for the many friendships where hugging is a ‘given’ and the myriad people I’ve prayed with over 37 years who I’ve had the joy of hugging. We were made to be loved, and care for each other: it’s been my delight to be a beneficiary of, and a donor of, loving and caring for countless people worldwide. I miss it more this Valentine’s Day than ever because of covid19…