Barbara Harris was the very first woman in the Anglican Communion to become a bishop. She faced many challenges and much hate in this pioneering vocation. And yet her faith remained strong. Last week she left this world and returned to the loving God who she knew always had her back.
Sometimes we are so consumed by what is facing us that we cannot see anything else. Our minds go into overdrive, churning over the problem, inventing conversations or scenarios, making plans, revising plans, ditching plans, wondering if this will ever end, or how it will end.
Such behaviour is very human, and understandable. Just read a lot of the psalms and you’ll see what I mean! However, remaining too long in such a state of mind is unhelpful, and unhealthy, both for ourselves and for those around us. Return to those psalms! See how the writer entwines his lament with reminders to himself how God has cared for him, or for God’s people in the past. See how the writer declares confidence that somehow God will see him through this current crisis. See how the writer comes to realise that God is bigger than any problems humans can face, and the way forward is to trust God. When you make that leap of faith and lean back into the God behind you, the God who has your back, you can breathe more easily, think more clearly, and know that, whatever happens, in life and in death, the God of love, the Good Shepherd will never let you go.
The Revd Vanessa Cato
Revd Cato, former rector of Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, leads the children in stories from the Bible.