I am outrageously loved - Reflection by Canon Ellen
Read Canon Ellen's blog post for Tuesday, 11 May, 2021.
Just after my husband Mark died on March 2 I was inundated with cards, flowers, gifts and messages. I am so very grateful for all the love that was shared. It was a great encouragement and brought a deep sense of being cared for and embraced in what was (and continues to be) a terrible time of grief and loss. I am very grateful to everyone, particularly the Cathedral company for the support. Mark’s funeral was a beautiful testament to his life – a life well lived and a man well loved. Even with the covid restrictions – we as a family were able to share with hundreds of people this funeral via the virtual link as well as via a tribute page set up on facebook. We did not feel alone. We felt outrageously loved. And the incredible love of God embraced us as well – that sense of God being with us and surrounding us with God’s peace. Then followed a period of compassionate leave which gave me a brief but significant space to reflect on what my life was going to be like without Mark. It’s all very much a work in progress!
Since then I have experienced a series of firsts in my Cathedral life: my first day back at work, first leading morning prayer, first evensong, first presiding at the Eucharist, first time back in person on a Sunday, first sermon back in the pulpit! Grief going in and out in waves, being strong, feeling weak, tripping up, getting back on my feet again.
These last 18 months have been hard for us all and things have changed for all of us over this time. My situation is not unique. Many of us have lost loved ones, held funerals with just a handful of people in person, held off wakes and family gatherings. Even if we haven’t lost a loved one we are all grieving in some way for the lives that have been changed during these covid times…And now they are changing again. We are slowly coming out of lock-down and renegotiating a new way to live. Each of us needing time and space (both literally and metaphorically) to make sense of what is ahead of us.
When the cathedral reopens on May 17 we are together going to play a part in expressing some of the mixed-up feelings that have been held in tension since March last year. As the Peace Doves descend we might be able to use this installation as an opportunity to give thanks for God’s outrageous generous love, for the many things we are grateful for. But, also reflect on those things we are lamenting – our grief at losing loved ones, of missing out on time to share with each other, for job’s lost, for lives put on hold.
The Peace Dove installation and Light Night are a chance for us to come together again and share our stories and ourselves. They are also a chance for us to invite others to the Cathedral to enjoy the space, eat some excellent food in the new look café, buy a gift from the Cathedral shop, share in worship and tell others about the outrageous love of God. My prayer is that over the next few months we slowly but surely grow more deeply in love with each other and in God.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.