Tiers in Heaven
I have re-written today’s reflection in light of the government’s latest announcement – Essex entering Tier 4 just days before Christmas, and all plans of Christmas bubbles popped in an instant. We managed to go from Tier 2 to Tier 4 in less than a week, and I expect many others feel as I am, in a bit of a whirlwind!
It takes so much emotional energy to keep having the parameters change. We just about work out what we can and can’t do, and then it seems to change again just as quickly. We have had to adapt to new circumstances so many times this year (and it is just as draining to go back to socialising again as it is to stop in my humble opinion) and for this final blow to come so close to Christmas, a time that holds so much promise for us in so many ways, seems extra cruel.
Of course, it is not cruel. Not deliberately anyway. The motivation for these new restrictions is not to harm us, but in fact the opposite. What strikes me most about our pain now, is that it is our love for one another that is behind the tension we feel. We mourn because we want to be close, especially at Christmas; we want to hug our loved ones and share meals, gifts and silly games. For many people they feel this pain regardless of COVID because they live long distance or have heart ache due to separation (whether by death or a falling out). We feel this way because we love deeply.
Then on the other hand we desperately want to protect our loved ones from this awful virus. I have heard countless voices tell me that it is not themselves they are concerned for, but their family members and friends who are vulnerable for different reasons. Now being in such a high risk area, our desire for our families to be safe is heightened, none of us want to see them infected – especially if it could have been prevented. We feel this way because we love deeply.
So we want to be together because we love, and we want to be apart because we love. And it is such a wrench.
I am comforted to remember that the promise of Christmas remains. We have hope. (Not just on the vaccines!!) But in our risen Saviour Jesus Christ. We will be free from pain, there will be no tears in heaven (of any kind) and suffering will cease. I join you all in prayer this week for however these new restrictions have affected you, and pray that you find comfort in the still place, knowing the peace of God that passes all understanding.