Where’s the Cry of Anguish? (Prayers during Covid)

Not long after the current outbreak started, the Church of England nationally issued some prayers ‘for personal and group use at this challenging time’. They are available at the C of E website. They are good prayers and I hope that many people find them helpful. But something strikes me about them: they offer no articulation of personal negative or difficult feelings. In other words, they do not facilitate any personal lament.

I’ll explain what I mean by that, why it might matter, and what can helpfully supplement those prayers.

Continue reading “Where’s the Cry of Anguish? (Prayers during Covid)”Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Allure of the Superlative : Finding Value in the Ordinary

One day last summer, I climbed a mountain. It was a lovely day – if anything a little too hot – and I enjoyed some gorge scrambling, stunning views, and the sense of challenge fulfilled as I reached the top. I sat down to eat my lunch as I admired the view. I was disturbed by only one other person during my break. Yet under a mile away, on a very similar peak, I could see crowds of people. They were coming and going all the time. At one point I tried to count up through my binoculars: there were at least 25 people on the summit at that moment.

The two peaks were very similar: equally accessible, equally scenic, and with similar views. In some respects, the mountain I was on was more impressive than the other. So why should there be such a huge preference for the other, of two virtually equal alternatives? The reason is very simple: that one is the highest peak in England (Scafell Pike); mine was merely the second highest (Scafell).

So this set me thinking. Superlatives are incredibly alluring, aren’t they?

Continue reading “The Allure of the Superlative : Finding Value in the Ordinary”Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail