Monday, July 6, 2020

What COVID-19 Has Taught Me

I am guessing that many of us may or may not be tired of hearing about this this time being referred to as the “new normal”.  You may have asked yourself what does this even mean?  Maybe just another nice phrase. 
Before COVID-19 things were business as usual for me and for many others I am sure.  I was not really taking enough time to reflect on the preciousness and fragility of life.  I was so totally consumed by ministry and all that I had to get done within any given day.  Hardly taking the time to smell the proverbial roses. 
This time of COVID has taught me than in this global reality I live in, that we all need each other.  What I do way over here in Trinidad & Tobago can have an impact on others in other parts of the world and universe.  We are so intimately connected and made to be interdependent, called upon to help each other in our good times and in our trying times.  It is through my relating with others assist in my learning and growing.
In pre-COVID, I allowed myself to be fooled into thinking and believing that I was invincible and independent.  When in reality I have been created to be connected to others.  We are related by the mere fact that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.
It has been made clear to me in this time, that I am a fragile being and not fully in control.  I also know that I have been created for a particular purpose.  I am here for a specific time and reason.  I am here to make a difference and contribution to this world I live in.  How I achieve this purpose is dependent on my many relationships with others, those that I have met and those that I have yet to meet.  
Due to COVID-19 I cannot continue living my life like it is business as usual, because time is precious, and I have to make good use of it and learn the lessons that life and others are teaching me.  
What are your learnings in this time of COVID-19?
What is this time asking of you?  Are you willing to listen and respond?
Lystra R. Long, OP
St. Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago

Monday, June 29, 2020

Is there a blessing in this time?

In a terrifying way, the twin pandemics of Racism and Covid-19 may bring us to the brink of all that could save us as a people. Jan Richardson’s reflection in Circle of Grace, invites us to see a blessing in this moment.

“This Grace That Scorches Us”

Here’s one thing you must understand about this blessing: it is not for you alone.
It is stubborn about this. Do not even try to lay hold of it if you are by yourself, thinking you can carry it on your own.

To bear this blessing, you must first take yourself to a place where everyone does not look like you or think like you, a place where they do not believe precisely as you believe, where their thoughts and ideas and gestures are not exact echoes of your own.

Bring your sorrow. Bring your grief. Bring your fear. Bring your weariness, your pain, your disgust at how broken the world is, how fractured, how fragmented by its fighting, its wars, its hungers, its penchant for power, its ceaseless repetition of the history it refuses to rise above.

I will not tell you this blessing will fix all that. But in the place where you have gathered, wait. Watch. Listen. Lay aside your inability to be surprised, your resistance to what you do not understand.

See then whether this blessing turns to flame on your tongue, sets you to speaking what you cannot fathom or opens your ear to a language beyond your imagining that comes as a knowing in your bones, a clarity in your heart that tells you this is the reason we were made: 
for this ache that finally opens us, for this struggle, this grace that scorches us toward one another and into the blazing day.

 (With apologies to the author for modifying the format)

What will you do with this blessing?

Erica Jordan, OP
Kenosha, WI

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