Good morning!

After reading my blog yesterday a friend from France asked me to pray for the young people there struggling with the lockdown. Confined to their apartments day after day she told me that many were falling victims to suicide.

Lockdown of course has the potential to turn any of us a bit fruity…

But on a more serious note, for some it is too much.

As someone who’s had my fair share of emotional breakdowns I know all too well how something like lockdown could push people over the edge.

Many people have very little social contact and small things like sitting in a coffee shop and maybe a chat with a stranger can be life and death.

Others have very difficult situations and relationships at home and so getting out of the house is paramount to maintaining good mental health while for others the gym and sport is a key factor.

Lockdowns came on us all unannounced and many people, perhaps more especially younger people were unprepared and not equipped to deal with such a thing. I know that I wouldn’t have been back in the day.

Perhaps the most depressing thing from a younger person’s perspective is the fact that nobody knows when it will all end. Having an ‘end time’ often allows us to get through hard events because we can reason with ourselves that things will be better afterwards. However having no end time is a bit like being diagnosed with a terminal illness …things can feel hopeless.

And so what to do to iron out these difficulties?

(See how Rayne has domesticated me….my mum would be so proud!).

Well often what is needed is a change of perspective and things like counselling, prayer, meditation and coming up with creative and alternative strategies to achieve our ambitions and goals.

This is where those of us who are a bit older or who have already navigated through stormy waters in life can reach out in love to those who are a bit younger and in need of help.

Sometimes something as simple as a regular phone call or message or sending a little gift can make all the difference and break the cycle of depression and loneliness.

As we befriend others they may well share their inner struggles with us and this is a ‘sacred conversation’ where we can really be God’s instruments of both healing and hope.

And of course we can then pray for these people too and bring them in our hearts to Jesus until such time as they learn how to pray for themselves.

Yet however must take care to look after ourselves too and not let ourselves get swamped by other people’s problems and fall into a depression ourselves.

So today let us once again embark on the journey of love and hope, of spreading joy, of being a listening ear, of sharing a kind word, of praying for one another and of setting time aside for ourselves too. Let us reach out in humility and in love to those younger people who may be struggling and who may simply need a caring friend during this time.

Have a day filled with love and care for others!

Michael