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Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

A few weeks ago, I was travelling in the Milan area

My Bible: reasons to believe in the power of the Bible

A few weeks ago, I was travelling in the Milan area when the coronavirus struck. The Italian response was dramatic. We went from hearing rumours to the closure of all public buildings, schools and universities within 48 hours. I was actually in the Pinacoteca art gallery when they closed it. So I got out, came home and went into self-isolation for two weeks. ‘No problem,’ I thought. ‘I live on my own and often work from home. This will be pretty straightforward.’

Well of course it wasn’t. It’s a bit like when people say they soon get bored of daytime TV when they are home sick. Unable to leave the house, talk to other people and carry out the sort of socialising most of us take for granted, I soon got bored, fed up and frustrated. After two weeks I realised it was already affecting me both physically and mentally. It surprised me how quickly I started to get more out of breath from lack of exercise and how quickly I developed feelings of anxiety and depression. I started overthinking, getting emotional and not sleeping so well. I began to realise what it is to be housebound and isolated as well as the loneliness many in our communities feel every day.

The lockdown, necessary if we are to have a chance of beating this virus, means many elderly and frail people are self-isolating and suffering great loneliness. Jesus says that the greatest thing we can do for each other is to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Never has this been more important for our community. This need has been recognised in the NHS volunteering scheme; it has a special category for telephone companions to help combat loneliness. If you are healthy, please pray for guidance in ways to help others. If you are isolated, work out a routine of activities and exercise to keep a healthy mind and body. Above all, set yourself time each day to pray.

Psalm 18.6 says, ‘In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.’ Call out to the Lord and he will hear you because as Jesus says in Matthew 28.20, ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

And if you are not sure how to pray, turn to Psalm 23, 'The Lord is my shepherd', which has given much reassurance to so many over the years. Never in my lifetime has it felt more as though we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Never have I felt more strongly the need for the comfort of the Lord that comes through prayer.

Do you have a story to share? Email [email protected]


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