Chaplain's thought for the week
Revd Tom reflects on Mental Health Awareness Week, The Witches, and the power of Love
This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, with a particular emphasis on body image this year – something which is often at the forefront of a teenager’s mind.
Many of us recently enjoyed the excellent Lower School production of The Witches, or will at least know Roald Dahl’s marvellous book. At the very end of the story the main character – the young boy who has been turned into a mouse – is asked by his grandmother, ‘Are you sure you don’t mind being a mouse for the rest of your life?’
He responds like this: ‘I don’t mind at all. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’
What a great sentiment! Yet many people spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about who they are and what they look like. We can also assume that everyone else in the universe is constantly judging our actions and the clothes we’re wearing, when in fact they’re probably wrapped up in themselves.
So perhaps part of the answer to our worries about body image and identity is to remember those people who love us just as we are, no matter how we look or how we act. It is also a very good reminder to those of us who are parents, teachers or have an influence on young people, to offer them the best unconditional love we can provide.
For the person of faith Love is the Ultimate Reality of the universe, and the whole of creation is the outpouring of the love of God. In the Bible, St Paul writes that he is ‘convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.’
With that kind of cosmic vision of Love, we might agree that it really doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like.