One year ago today I wrote the first “Strength and Peace Blog.” At that point I thought I was going to be blogging for a few weeks or a month to keep up the spirits of the faithful people of Graceview Presbyterian. I never for a second thought I’d still be at it a year later. None of us thought that at the beginning.
None of us could have imagined that a year later we’d still be keeping our distance and – in Toronto’s case, anyway – living in lockdown. So I just want to share a couple of things that I have found meaningful as I’ve reflected on this pandemic year.
First of all, Nadia Bolz-Weber has been writing prayers every Sunday and you can sign up here to receive them by email. Her turn of phrase is always fresh and meaningful. I often feel like she’s saying what I was feeling. This past Sunday’s prayer was especially meaningful to me:
Dear God who made us all,
A year ago we did not know that we were about to learn:
what we could lose and somehow live anyway
where we would find comfort and where it would elude us
whose lives matter to whom
why we have kitchens in our homes.
In mid-March 2020 all I knew for sure is that
hoarding toilet paper doesn’t make you safe – it just makes you selfish.
But God, it feels like the world is about to open back up.
And I’m both thrilled and kind of scared about that.
Because I’m not who I was a year ago.
I want so badly
to hug my friends again
and laugh like hell again
and have amazing conversations again
and yet I am not sure how long I could do any of this before crying or just getting really quiet. My emotional protective gear has worn so thin, and grief just leaks out everywhere now.
I am so afraid that I will never be who I once was. And I am also afraid that I will be.
(Not to mention, I’m not entirely clear what size jeans I wear as the me I am now)
And yet, when I quiet my anxious thoughts, I start to suspect that I am now closer to the me you have always known and always loved. So help me trust that, Lord.
As things change, help us be gentle with ourselves and with each other. We are all wearing newborn skin right now.
Amen.-Nadia Bolz-Weber, Sunday Prayers for March 14, 2021
And second, this old song from Rich Mullins which popped into my head today out of nowhere and seems quite apropos. This is “Hold Me, Jesus”:
Dear friends, until tomorrow – may He be your Prince of Peace.
4 thoughts on “One Year.”
The year has been a burden to me living in a retirement residence with a bunch of strangers.
I moved here on February 29th and two weeks later every thing changed.
Most of the strangers are now friends I call by their first names, we have shared several periods of isolation to our suites due to positive tests and illness with staff and residents.
Your regular blogs and the continuing Sunday services have been significant events in my lonely year of separation from normalcy.
I doubt you will ever realize how much your efforts have helped old people like me cope with this stressful struggle for existence.
THANK YOU REBEKAH.
Bob, this is something I really needed to hear this evening. God bless you! You are always in my prayers.
You have no idea how many people you have blessed with this Blog.
I have used it for Ideas in my pastoral care e-blasts ,I have been “fed ” by it personally . You get it.!
Thanks as always
hugs and blessing and lots of prayer.
Thank you sooo much, Moyra! I’m glad my blog has been helpful for you. You are absolutely welcome to “steal” from it any time you like. Some of my other colleagues do for their emails/communications to their congregations.