Talking Point – September 2021

I’ve been reflecting on Opening Up and Taking Risks
AS SOCIETY opens up and more of the events and places we related to before March 2020 become available again, so the risks of being infected by Covid 19 or one of its variants increase. Some of us may have been safer during a time of National Lockdown than we will be now.
One of the arguments for opening up is that, not only will people’s jobs and the economy benefit, but so will our mental health and quality of life.
What I’ve been considering is how opening up in various areas of life inevitably involves taking risks and, like the scientists and Government who have been seeking to guide us through the pandemic, we have to weigh up whether or not it’s wise to take the risks of opening up.
A young woman is weighing up whether to tell her mother that her sexual orientation is towards other women, when she knows that her mother has been looking forward to her daughter’s white wedding and to becoming a grandmother herself.
Another young woman is wondering whether to risk contacting the Police when she has been raped. Although she wants to see justice done and the man not harming anyone else, the process she would go through could involve considerable stress.
A man is wondering whether he should tell his wife about his affair, when he is unsure what effect it will have on their subsequent relationship. There are many areas of life in which opening up entails risks for people.
It may be someone opening up their life to God, saying their ‘Yes’ to God, as Mary did. What risks might that involve? Where might life go then?
There are no easy answers and rarely straightforward routes to travel. As with the pandemic it means weighing up one set of risks alongside another. As well as needing guidance ourselves it may be helpful to become more aware of the struggles others (and we ourselves) can face.

Revd. David Jenkins is a member of the
Methodist Team Ministry