Mid-Week Meditation (5)
My eighty-something neighbour told me recently that she’s doing okay during this bizarre time. Her husband, however, according to her, is building ladders in every room; i.e., wanting to climb the walls. He was a farmer now living in a small subdivision. He will be all right soon when his sons get back out on the land and can till and plough and plant. He can at least watch, and maybe help a little bit.
In my not so fanciful imagination I am pretty sure that most of you who are part of the Maple Grove United Church family are coping quite well. Many seem to be relishing this time at home finding opportunities to catch up on spring cleaning, read books they have been hoping to get to someday. Say, if you ever thought that at some point in your life you would like to read through the whole Bible from cover to cover – this may just be a time when that could happen. Many are enjoying daily conversations and interchanges on the worldwide web. Many are trying new skills in cooking, journaling, meditating, painting. Many are picking up on projects that have been on hold like scrap-booking, filling in photo albums, carpentry and wood-working ideas, sewing, knitting, quilting. Another neighbour of mine is in the process of totally re-doing her outdoor gardens. Then there are all those easily addictive activities like crossword puzzles and word searches, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles. Some are even learning a new language or how to play an instrument.
Others are still working, mostly from home, some on the front lines, some providing essential services. When there is time out, I trust you are finding creative ways to relax, exercise, continue pursuing already-in-place hobbies, enhance primary relationships, and also maybe try some new things. And there are also families among us who are heavily now into home-schooling and keeping up with the energies and time-filling aspirations of their children. Hang in there, kids! May God continue to gift you with active imaginations.
And yes, there are some among us who are finding isolation and social distancing and staying home quite difficult. And some who are nursing and caring for ailing loved ones. Our prayers are with you. Please call someone on our Caring Team or Stress Support Team if you need some support, a listening ear, a soul companion. This is also an opportune time for you to use your telephone to just have some conversation every day with a family member, a neighbour, a friend you haven’t been in touch with for some time. When anxiety or dampened spirit show up, breathe, maybe look out a window and see what’s growing in your garden; put on some music that soothes you on your radio, stereo, TV; do something that pampers yourself like a bubble bath, cooking a warm meal or ordering one in, making a list in which you really do count your blessings. Take some tips and encouragement from those who are taking time to get busy with projects and ideas “on hold”. It could be time to take a few hours to polish the silver, take all the books off of book shelves and dust and replace them, Spring clean the china cabinet, take a toaster apart and put it back together again just for fun, pick up some of those family photo albums and flip through them slowly savouring every memory.
This pandemic captivity will pass. But, until then, stay not only healthy and safe, but also seize this opportunity to deepen faith, practice prayer and meditation, connect with those who matter most to you, and remind yourself hourly, daily, that you are a beloved child of God.