Tuesday 7 April 2020

Dr Martin Garsed


Let Us Shine The Light of Words on It

I am writing as a former GP, Psychotherapist and Hospice Physician. A member of the prayer and healing ministry team in the All Saints Anglican Church community in Whitstable.

“Let us shine the light of words” on where we are now and what we feel and think in these unprecedented times. We are all very different individuals, as are our particular situations.
But the mixture and complexity of our emotions, thoughts  and imagination are common to us all and are part of who we are. The same yet unique.

In my work over years, what was always important, was to enable those I was with to “shine the light of words” on their situation be it in health, sickness or other adversity, the many challenges that life threw at them.

If we give free reign to to our emotions, exacerbated in times of trial, they can run a mock and take charge, disempowering us, at times to such a degree, that we can no longer function and loose touch with reality.
It is important and a great help if we can voice how we feel , what we imagine or fear, to others in sharing or in writing them down for our selves. This is a good start to taking back control and feeling more secure even if not resolving the dilemma we are in. It helps to tame the loose demons !

A further reality is that many of these emotions and thoughts are in a way “paradoxical”. There is an opposite more positive dimension before us that we have lost sight of. Our task is to bring them together into a joint clearer light (In our sharing with others or writing) to find a more balanced view thus enabling us to move forward.

Here are a number of these paradoxical situations that face us in these challenging times and how we might address them

·        ISOLATION: This is the most dehumanising situation, particularly if on our own Try and recall all the small gestures of belonging that you have received from friends and loved ones over time. Think of your wider family and neighbours. Make efforts to be in touch using the telephone or technology not forgetting old fashion letter writing or sending cards to loved ones near of far away. 
·        TRAPPED SHUT IN: We are free and able to travel in our minds imagining the future or recalling the past, walks holidays etc. Write a memory book for the younger generations.
·        THE SILENCE: Can cause anxiety yet the noise that surrounded us in normal time is equally unnerving. Relish the quiet in your mind and heart, make your own quiet noise. Rest in that quietness.
·        EVERYTHING TAKEN AWAY: I have lost all my normality. Move to taking note of all the small things we do have. Acknowledge and express gratitude for them.


As Christians, members of other faiths, and people of good will, we can add a further dimension to our present experience and its questions.

·        ALL MY LIFE IS ON HOLD: We feel the bottom of our life has fallen out. But we also know and trust that GOD HOLDS us in his hand every day come what may. We can shift our prayer to a more “Contemplative” dimension learning to rest in the “now”, being in God's presence. Try this twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a holy word, picture, a cross, a candle (blow it out at the end !) to fall back on when distracted, it helps hold your attention.
·        SEPARATED FROM OUR SACRED SPACES AND WORSHIP: Yet each one of us are a “one unique sacred space made in the image of God”. All creation in and around us is also a universal sacred space.  Nothing separates us from the Holy within and around us from the creative love of God (Romans 8 vs 38.39)
·        FEAR: Yet we are called to live in Hope and Trust in our ever loving creator and his sacrifice for our eternal salvation. What more important a time, Holy Week, is it to recall and accompany our Saviour Jesus Christ during these days. He weeps over us, he washes our feet, he was flogged and hung on the cross and died for each one of us.
·        JESUS COMES THROUGH OUR LOCKED DOORS: As when the disciples were in isolation, full of fear locked up in the upper room, Jesus came through those closed doors (John 11 vs 35) Have no doubt, He will come through the closed doors of our homes and hearts in these uncertain times.

I pray for and commend you, and all those suffering at this time due to Covid 19 and the many women, children and men world wide, who are subject to many other sufferings.

Grace and peace be with you in this Holy Week and beyond.
This is my prayer in Jesus's name.

Dr. Martin Garsed.
Whitstable                                                                                     07.04.2020

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