A spiritual revival?
Two press items have caught my eye in the last few days. They could indicate a mood of openness to spirituality, and perhaps Christian faith, which could be positive going forward.
The first is from Tracey Thorn in the New Statesman (13 May). Here are some quotes....
“I’ve always been an atheist, or at least, I’ve always thought so. . . But I’ve backed off a bit now... I find myself most mornings walking around the weathered, leaning gravestones of the churchyard. If the church doors were open, I think I’d go and sit inside. Maybe I’d sort of pray... I find myself having conversations inside my own head, and I wonder, is this a prayer?
Being in the churchyard encourages the thought. I talk to my mum, who has been dead for nearly ten years. ‘Mum,’ I say/think, ‘you won’t believe what’s happening. There’s a pandemic and we all have to stay indoors. Like, indefinitely. It’s really, really weird. And I’m a bit sad and scared.’ I wait for her answer, but I can’t quite catch it... A friend tells me her parents have a memorial stone in the churchyard, so I go and find it, and stand in front of their names. After a few minutes I reach out and touch the plaque and say, awkwardly, a kind of ‘bless you’ to them. And is that a prayer?”
The second item was a report in The Telegraph (23 May) about the increase in Google searches for ‘prayer’. The research covered 95 countries. According to the researcher, in March such searches surged to the highest level ever recorded. The claim is that this is “due to an intensified demand for religion: we pray to cope with adversity”.
So my question is: could this openness to prayer be one of the good things to come from the virus?