It’s a time when the relationships we’ve cultivated in our covenanted community become a welcome lifeline. We see a familiar face, hear a familiar voice, and are able to share fears, worries, coping strategies, and, yes, a simple joy, through the computer screen or phone line. We trust that the crack in our voice will be graciously accepted and we will be held in love and kindness, just as if we had gathered in person. That’s who we are and how we live.
Each day is a balancing act of strong thoughts and emotions: In one moment, there’s the sadness for people and families most impacted by this virus. Sadness and fear that come with the reality that many are and will be dying alone, and that our traditional ways of grieving are not possible in these times. And in another, moments of joy and wonder at the many ways people are acting with kindness, love, and creativity … connecting remotely through the arts, service opportunities, and long over-due extended conversations.
A colleague of mine, Rev. Karen Madrone, shared recently a teaching she remembered from her former minister: “When people are most vulnerable they are beyond the logic and reason places of the religion they have converted to as an adult and they find comfort in the teachings of the faith they grew up in. Folks can be confused about this because one part of their brain can be thinking, “But I don't believe that anymore!”
“If a text, or song, or mantra from a religion you left is on your heart right now, go with it. It's okay. Be open to love, joy, and connection from many different sources.”
I notice this happening often with me these days. Memories of familiar hymns and songs from my earlier years have been flooding my senses, worming their way into my ears. Though I might otherwise resist the temptation to sing them because I can’t get behind the theology or word choice, I give in. After all, I’m home alone…. who’s going to complain? And so, I revel in the comfort of the associated memories they still carry for me. The comfort of a simpler, easier, more predictable time and place with family gathered around.
How and where are you finding comfort and solace? Do make time, without judgment, to affirm what soothes and lifts your heart these days!
Together, we’ll get through this.
With blessings for the journey,