There’s a lot that’s not fair in the impact of this Covid-19 pandemic. It is not a ‘great leveller’ as many have claimed previously. Those who are poor, in crowded homes, in care homes, those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those suffering domestic abuse are disproportionately affected to name but a few. And there are many, many more who have been personally affected with illness and bereavement, often alone in the cruellest of circumstances through no fault of their own.
One of the aspects of trauma is the shattering of our assumptions that life is basically safe and reliable, and that if we work hard and play fair, things will generally go well for us – our efforts will be rewarded. The psalmist cried out to God – it’s just not fair, where’s the justice in this? I keep faithful to you, I pray, I keep the commandments, and yet others who ignore you and ridicule me for believing in you, seem to be rewarded with good fortune far more than me?
It takes a lifetime to grow into what we were told in childhood – life isn’t ‘fair’! We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t rage about it sometimes. Only by doing that, by naming before God our anger about things, can we work through to a place of accepting what is, and find God meeting us in that place. ‘Then thought I to understand this, but it was too hard for me’ says the psalmist, ‘until I entered the sanctuary of God…’ (v16). As Jesus did in Gethsemane, bring your anguish, your confusion into God’s sanctuary, God’s presence, till it is spent, and your soul can begin to quiet in his presence and know;
‘Though my flesh and my heart fail me,
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever’ v26
Our perspective is shifted, and from that place of stillness and strength in God, we begin to move forwards to be and do what we can.