September e-News

Road Maps


My most vivid memory of using a road map involves being in a car in Genoa, Italy and having an enormous map open, obscuring all vision of the road ahead. I sat in the passenger seat trying to guide my husband to the youth hostel where we would be staying with our three sons who were at that moment in the back seat keeping very quiet. The road we were looking for just seemed to have disappeared, and we drove around and around the little narrow streets with cars parked at every angle creating the smallest passage for us to pass through. Suddenly the side window of our car hit the side window of one of those madly parked cars and both my husband and I promptly burst into tears.

I am sure the three wide eyed boys in the back seat were convinced at that moment that their parents had lost it – and they were right! Salvaging what we could of our sanity we tried following the road map, only to realise the road we had been looking for was a flyover that was literally over our heads. Eventually we got to the youth hostel and our oldest son made the most generous gesture of love and care by buying us all dinner (with money he had found on the ground that very day). That became one of 'the stories' we remember from that trip.

I was reminded of that experience as I reflected on road maps out of the lockdown. A map can show us where we want to be, but getting there can take some unexpected twists and turns along the way. I, like many others, want to be at the end of this. Every day we are witnesses to the ways people are reacting and responding. Frustration, anger, compassion and care, the full gamut of human emotions and capacities are on display, not least of all in our health care facilities.

At SHA we are aware of the growing pressure on our health care workers, including our spiritual care workforce. Our network gatherings are one way we continue to offer support and you can read more about these opportunities below. Our recent resource The Small Gift was created to highlight the importance of spiritual health as a way of supporting whole person care and self-care. At our AGM on 18 October, our latest resource The Little Book of Spiritual Health will be launched. While we continue to make our way on this long and winding road it is the small gestures of care and compassion that can make the biggest impacts – and become the stories we remember.  

Cheryl Holmes, CEO

Read our September eNews.