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  • Writer's picturePhil


In this present crisis we have no option but to learn to have more patience. Covid-19 is making us wait. It’s the new normal to wait in a queue to get in and buy weekly provisions from a supermarket; to wait in a queue to pick-up a prescription from the pharmacy; to wait in a queue to pay for petrol at the garage, wait to deposit rubbish at the Recycling Centre…. life since lockdown is a new learning curve in being patient. We’re probably in for a long wait for a clue as to when this Covid-19 crisis is likely to be over, waiting to see what “normal” is going to look like.

For those of us who have learnt over the years to thrive on “busy-ness”,

this enforced shut-down brings new experiences and challenges, ; how to be still; how, simply; to be. Waiting, when you are busy, is annoying. When lockdown robs one of business waiting can feel puzzling. Look at others queuing with you. Some will engage in conversation. Others will rigidly and immutably be locked-into a mobile, unable to do nothing in the wait. In the new normal for which we wait, I am learning a lot about myself, and trying to acquire new and better habits. Will I emerge, butterfly-like, with different aspirations and new perspectives? Will this waiting time have turned me into a better person?

A Prayer of the Iona Community in Scotland

You keep us waiting.

You, the God of all time,

Want us to wait for the right time

in which to discover

Who we are,

where we must go,

Who will be with us,

and what we must do.

So, thank you…for the waiting time.

You keep us looking.

You, the God of all space,

Want us to look in the right

and wrong places

for signs of hope,

For people who are hopeless,

For visions of a better world

that will appear among

the disappointments of the world

we know.

So, thank you…for the looking time.

You keep us loving.


the God whose name is love,

Want us to be like you –

To love the loveless

and the unlovely

and the unlovable;

To love without jealousy

or design or threat,

And most difficult of all,

to love ourselves.

So, thank you…

for the loving time.

And in all this you keep us,

Through hard questions

with no easy answers;

Through failing

where we hoped to succeed

and making an impact

when we felt useless;

Through the patience

and the dreams

and the love of others;

And through Jesus Christ

and his Spirit, you keep us.

© The Iona Community in Scotland

A prayer by Tom Gordon, a member of the Iona Community.

God of the waiting time,

help me to put my life in balance:

to be satisfied when I ‘know’, and comfortable with ‘not knowing’;

to be pleased when I am busy, and value times when I am still;

to know that you call me in times of waiting, and listening, and learning,

there to find I’m still serving you. Amen.

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