article in my newspaper's magazine supplement caught my eye this weekend, it spoke of how the Covid restrictions have
forced us to totally change the ways in which we relate to others and asks if friendships will ever be the same again. Sometimes
I find it difficult to even imagine how life was before Covid hit - bi-annual meals out at a pub with my husband and a group
of our best friends from years past; regular trips to the cinema with a friend or times sitting at the kitchen table drinking
coffee and putting the world to rights with another. It all seems like a dim and distant memory!
The last year has caused us all to look for new ways
to keep in touch - so important if we want to keep our friendships alive - and even a technophobe like me has discovered the
wonders of video communications and social media to use alongside email and telephone. Having said that, it's also made
me realise the importance of really good friendships against the hundreds of acquaintances known as ‘friends' who
I might ‘follow' on social media!
In order for any relationship to work and grow, communication is key - something
which I try to impress upon the couples I meet for marriage preparation - and like any relationship we need to communicate
regularly with God to grow our relationship with him. The season of Lent which runs this year from 17th February
until Easter is a good time to find the discipline to set aside a regular time for prayer. It's important to remember
that prayer should be more than just going to God with a list of requests - although that's fine - but should be seen
as two-way communication, making time to quietly listen as well as speak.
It does feel quite challenging to grow in relationship
with someone you have never seen but as we are reminded in the Bible; "No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,
who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known", so as well as finding time to talk to God I encourage
you to get to know him better by reading about the life of Jesus - Mark's Gospel is a good place to start!