I was not permitted to take on a paper round when I was a child, even though I had attained 99% on my cycling proficiency test and nagged and pleaded, my mother did not feel it was safe enough to let her child go cycling around the streets of Tottenham at 5.30am – to her it was just too risky. I of course understood her fears when I grew older, and I empathise with all of you who are having to let go of a loved one – whatever that looks like for you and your household – it could be the ending of relationship or a child leaving home as they start university.
During this pandemic, we encounter risk whatever choices we make; there are risks to venturing out to the shops or school or our place of work – of contracting the virus of course, but also the risk of experiencing how much the virus has changed how we live, work, worship and socialise. There are also risks to staying at home and shielding – to our physical health and also to our mental health caused by isolation or loneliness.
Not everyone has someone in their life who cares about or worries about them, but there are certain moments in our lives when we will have to let go – only you know what you need to let go of today and only you can assess the risks of doing so. As Christians, we are urged to ‘Never Lose Hope in the Mercy of God’ and it is worth reminding ourselves of this regularly as we figure out and reconfigure how to live our lives during these strange and challenging times.