On New Years Day my friend sent me a cartoon image of a group of people holding a long broom handle, keeping their distance, and using it to tentatively push open a door with 2022 written on it. I think it summed up how many of us felt! As we have crossed the threshold into this new year my mind has entertained a fair share of trepidation. I am sure I am not alone in this. Countless people across the country, myself included, had to reschedule or cancel Christmas hopes and plans yet again. The brakes went on once more. I am conscious of a weariness, a pandemic fatigue which, if not careful, can lead to a resignation mindset. Dare we allow ourselves to hope, to dream, to lift our expectations, to look to a new horizon and see the possibilities, or have we become accustomed to disappointment and plans derailing? At the start of the pandemic when we were told we’d have to be in lockdown for several weeks, it seemed like an interminable length of time. I’m not sure any of us could have coped if we’d realised that we’d still be living with various levels of restrictions in a stop and start world two years on.
We are all now very clear that one of the things this season has taught us, if we didn’t know it already, is that there are very few things in life which are 100 per cent certain.
As I stepped into 2022, the phrase that kept going through my mind was ‘security despite uncertainty’. We can know our security regardless of the shifting sands beneath us. My unwavering security is knowing a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, who has my best interest at heart and will never let me down or let me go. This is the message we seek to share through all that we do at Third Space Ministries, and it seems more impactful than ever.
Hope is a powerful force for good and this year we dare to hope that we will be able to start to exit this collective trauma. We are under no illusions that this will be a quick and easy process. There will be many long-term effects from so much disorientation, and as chaplains we will undoubtedly be kept busy as we sit with people through this ongoing journey, to offer a place of safety in a small and simple way. We have a vital message to communicate, of security that doesn’t shake when the world is shaken. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we are immune to the pain and the suffering, but it means that we know who holds us close in the midst of it. We put our hope in Hope himself.
Hebrews 6:19 ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.’
We tread gently but optimistically into the year ahead, aware that it is still a balancing act and we need to continue to hold things lightly. But we are already excited for some new opportunities before us at Third Space Ministries. On Thursday 3rd February we are marking Time to Talk Day (a mental health awareness day) by offering our services at one of our local cafes in Morden, Metronome. As trained chaplains in mental health and active listening, we will be available for people to chat to us throughout the day. We are looking forward to seeing how this will be received.
And we are also hopeful for starting an online Alpha Course next month, building on some of the relationships and questions about faith that have come from those we work with. This course will help people explore Christianity over several weeks in a way that is relational and accessible. We would really appreciate your prayers during this time.
We also pray for you, that you may know security and hope as this year unfolds. We look forward to journeying with you over these coming months.