How are you doing in the midst of this world-wide pandemic? Finding a new normal eludes us daily. We all are all experiencing losses of one kind or another.
My days have been occupied by Zoom meetings and emails with other leaders of SoulStream and St. Stephen’s. Gradually we move from denial, through grief, to acceptance and action.
I feel the effects of the pandemic personally too. Every time I make a trip to the store or touch anything someone else has touched, I risk spreading the virus to others or bringing it home to Fred who has a compromised immune system.
I invite you to pause with me and notice. What are you feeling? What do you notice?
I feel both restrained that I can’t do what I want to and relieved as my days become simpler and more spacious.
I feel sad for the huge losses others are experiencing.
I feel the weight of figuring out how we will manage to continue the Living from the Heart course with video conferencing and still make it a life-giving experience for our participants.
Notice how you felt when you read that my feelings were similar or different from yours? Open to those feelings too.
God sees and feels all these things with us. Allow yourself to sink into God’s love and notice.
As I open to God in the silence, I realize that I’m afraid to stop moving. If I don’t stay on top of my emails, things will pile up, and I will be buried so deeply I won’t be able to get out from under it.
I could not hear this until I was silent. Now that I have, I know God has heard it too.
God says, “Rest, my love, I will take care of everything.”
I stretch out in God’s sheer silence and breathe with those words. On the in-breath: Rest, my love. On the out-breath: I will take care of everything.
I breathe and rest for a generous amount of time.
Another noticing comes to me: I’m not ready to open to all the pain in the world right now. I allow myself to be there without judging or trying to change myself. I continue to rest and trust that God will take care of this too.
Near the end of my silent prayer, I feel invited to breathe in love and breathe out love for the world and for a few people that come to mind. I can do that.
What feelings emerge as you hear God say to you, “Rest, my love, I will take care of everything.”?
I feel hope rise and trust. I even feel a tickle of curiosity and anticipation. What might God have for us that we never expected?
I feel a lightness in my chest that all this will work out for good in some way or other. I recall one of SoulStream’s core values: We trust that, despite all evidence to the contrary, God will accomplish God’s loving and redeeming purposes toward the fulfilment of all things in Christ.
God is accomplishing God’s loving and redeeming purposes in us with every breath we take.
May we live with compassion for ourselves and for others. We are doing many things for the first time.
And when we feel overwhelmed, exhausted or afraid, God, help us to share those feelings with you. Remind us that you are right here. Tell us again: Rest, my love, I will take care of everything.
Rest, my love, I will take care of everything.
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Here is some love mischief you can participate in as we flatten the Coronavirus curve. Join Christine Valters Paintner for a Novena for Times of Unravelling. Do yoga at home with Adriene. Continue to meet with your prayer or Bible study group on Zoom. Apparently, Zoom has temporarily lifted the 40 minute limit on groups of 3 or more for those with the basic (free) plan. Tune in to the Metropolitan Opera’s free streaming of spring performances or enjoy Steve Bell’s weekly concerts on FB. Share a poem, song or article that you found encouraging. Call a friend who doesn’t have internet access. Did a vacation or dinner out get cancelled? Consider donating that money where it is needed.
What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.
Credits and References:
“Covid-19” image by Prachatai. Used with permission.
Keep calm” by Melissa Hillier. Used with permission.
“Sleeping girl on a wooden bench” by Albert Anker (1831-1910) / Public domain
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020. http://www.estherhizsa.com
Thank you, Esther. Here’s love mischief. There’s a refugee from the Congo with 3 children who attends our church. Her doctor told her she shouldn’t work in the cold chicken packing plant anymore because working in the cold all night was affecting her health. Harry, my husband, got help sending emails to our Bible study group. People sent money via etransfer and Harry figured out how to receive it. Then he went to the back and collected $470 including our donation and delivered it trying to keep 2 meters from her son as he handed him the envelope.
Wow. That’s great, Nan. Thanks for sharing.