Being ill in Lent – a confession

I’ve been in bed all week with a horrible cold virus.

I’m absolutely terrible at being ill. I’m a terrible hypochondriac – I always end up doing what my mum calls my ‘dying swan act’ at the slightest inconvenience to my normal life.

So this week I haven’t got any profound thoughts (or just thoughts really!) to share on Mark’s gospel!

In fact, most disturbing about my being ill is that my spiritual disciplines have gone right out of the window. I’ve barely prayed and I’m a day late on the Mark book I’m reading.

One would have thought that a week in bed would be a great opportunity to read the bible and pray and enjoy being at home. I’d like to say that’s what I did but in fact what I’ve done this week is:

  • Watch all 3 extended Lord of the Rings films (and realised that the Ring of Power is essentially a horcrux!)
  • Read the Hunger Games trilogy
  • Watched the first 5 episodes of Homeland on 4OD
  • Watched too many episodes of 4 in a Bed 
  • Watched 6 episodes of Seinfeld
  • Started reading ‘The Hardest thing to do’ by Penelope Wilcock – which I think is shaking me out of this unspiritual fug
  • Felt stupidly sorry for myself when all I’ve got is a cold
  • Slept in the spare room
  • Coughed my guts up and lost my voice
  • I’m on my tenth packet of hand tissues

I’m coming out of the other side now – hence writing this. 

I’ve been humbled by the sympathy I’ve received from friends on Twitter and Facebook. I also realise how fortunate I am that I can take time off work and still get paid. I’m rather embarrassed that I’ve solicited a lot of these sympathetic comments directly – I guess in losing my voice and being stuck at home I’ve reached out to my virtual audience for comfort! I’m just sad that I did this far more readily than praying.

I feel like I’ve been like a churlish child with God this week, pretty much deciding to ignore Him because He’s ‘given me this cold’. How stupid. Interesting that last night, when I was at my wits’ end with coughing, as soon as I prayed I managed to drift off to sleep…


Lesson learnt.



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