I ask myself this question on a beautiful sunny morning listening to the birds singing in the trees, supping my coffee and settling myself down for a time of prayer before finishing writing my sermon for tomorrow.
Why am I asking people to sponsor me to raise money and awareness for The Samaritans when there is so much need for Ukrainian refugees? Should I ask for more or leave it below the target I set?
And then I remember why. I know what it is like to be desperate and alone with unbearable thoughts. I know what it is like to be able to phone someone and know that however dark, however crazy, my words are, that I will be listened to, I will be ‘held’ in a safe space.
I have been fortunate and blessed because I have not needed to phone The Samaritans on those occasions because I have had sufficient support around me in my friends and spiritual director, in counsellors and when on retreat. Not everyone who has that need has that support network….. like the person I knew and loved who was found hanging in the stairway at their home. I didn’t know how sad and desperate she was as we had lost touch.
I shed tears for her and feel very sad. I wasn’t there for her – my life had moved on to different places, different people.
I will continue to walk 310,000 steps in March and raise money and awareness for The Samaritans for her, and others like her who do not have that network of support around them in their times of need.
I don’t know if she had phoned for help or indeed reached out for help. I know that some people will decide to end their lives even though they have all the support anyone could provide. I know that some people do not ask for help but suffer in silence.
But I also know that having someone on the end of the phone or to go and see has stopped me from taking that final step. And I will walk to do my small bit to ensure that The Samaritans are there for those who do dial the number and want to talk.
If you would like to give then hopefully the link below will work. So far I have raised £257 of £310. Some of that is from sponsors at church, not online.
Thank you. And now I suppose I should get back to paying about my sermon for tomorrow. And if you are interested, it is answering the age old question of ‘what did I (or they) do to deserve this suffering?’ And I really am not in the mood.
The sun is still shining so perhaps now is a good time to go for a walk and a pray.