Three weeks ago the Ulster hospital called me in for some tests. It was my first real foray out of my ‘shielding bubble’ since early March and it was a very surprising and uncomfortable experience. My daughter, a retired doctor, had warned me in no uncertain terms that if I caught the virus I would not survive because of my age and health conditions. As I walked round the hospital a very strange feeling came over me and I began to see everyone not wearing a mask as a potential threat. I couldn’t return to my ‘bubble’ quickly enough. Very strange since in my working life I faced several serious life threatening situations without any problems.
The lockdown has given me much time for reflection. I am 89, I have outlived my mother, father and younger brother by many years so I am probably past my ‘sell by’ date already. So where have I arrived at in my journey of faith?
I committed my life to Christ in a youth service at the age of 16. As a teenager everything was black and white and certain, but now there are a lot of grey areas and many questions I cannot answer with any certainty. I used to worry about my doubts but now after a lifetime of study and discussions I have stopped worrying. In this lock down period I have tried to distil the essence of what it all means and the conclusion I have reached is the sure knowledge that God loves me and I have responded to that love. Someone once wrote that God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love. What an incredible thought. God loves me as if there was only me to love and he would still have sent Jesus just to tell me. What more do I need? Everything else is peripheral but nevertheless useful to that understanding.
So am I worried about dying? Not in the least, in fact I am intrigued by it for at least then there will be no more grey areas and I will know all the answers.