Tether Cartoon

We are at Tether’s End

Question upon question

Distanced too far apart

Too much isolation

We are at Tether’s End

Months of dismal headlines

People dying every day

Friends risking on the frontlines


Seven months of this strange world. A tightening of restrictions last week might just have taken us to the end of our tether.

One of the outworking of our reaching Tether’s end, it seems to me, is fractiousness. I noticed it in television programmes, social media threads, Zoom meetings, conversations, even in my own disposition. I had to apologise for over reacting at a meeting.

At Tether’s End we seem to fall into serious bouts of knowing it all. We know better than the scientific experts, than the doctors in ICU, the politicians and the economists. There is not an expert in the world that we are not smarter than! Give us all a minute and we can fix it!

What we all need in such a place and in such a state is a radical humility and a whole lot of tolerance .

The apostle Paul has some advice and a good model for such a situation. Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi is written into a fractious situation. As their pastor in the first verses of chapter 2, he asks them to make his joy complete by being like minded and to find a unity of purpose.

To give them an illustration of what he means he sets down in verses 6 to 11 what seems to me to be the most succinct explanation of the Gospel in all of the New Testament. 

Many scholars say that these verses are from an early Church hymn. Modern worship writers should take note. In these few verses we get this radical ridiculous Gospel of Jesus in a nutshell. God left heaven, became human, as a servant and died for the world. That wasn’t the end, he was resurrected and ascended and at the end of time every knee will bow. 

It is that radical humility of God that Paul suggests is our model in fractious times. Just as God put us above himself so we should put one another above ourselves. That will lead us to be tolerant and comforting and compassionate to each other down here at Tether’s End.

It seems to me that we all need to stop and take a deep breath just now. Inhale the love of God. We all need to be gentle with ourselves, understand that some of this angst within us is a result of the state of the outside world. We all need to be tolerant towards others and we then need others to be tolerant to us. 


At Tether’s End

We need tolerance and grace

Tenderness and compassion

A comforting embrace

At Tether’s End

We need a radical humility

Others always above ourselves

The Spirit of like minded unity.


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