As Hope Emerges, What Have We Learned In This Time?

Certainly, it seems like we are seeing light at the end of these arduous twelve months of a tragic pandemic in our nation and the world. As more and more are vaccinated and herd immunity becomes a possibility, we can now envision getting back to a life that, although will be different, is more reflective of the way we all once lived. Poet Emily Dickinson wrote: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.”

Obviously, I cannnot speak to the uniqueness of what you may have learned in this time. I can however, share what I have learned and you can reflect upon how that may speak to your own experience.

It was not long into the pandemic, before I realized how important human touch, embrace, and smiling at another are so connected to my energy field and well being. And, I am one who has been so very blessed to have a spouse, children, and grandchildren in if you will, my bubble. Yet, the loss of weekly and Sunday in-person contacts with people in the community and with the members of the church that I serve, has left a deep hole.

A quite poignant learning for me, was that without others all around me with whom I am busily engaged, I rely much more heavily upon my relationship with God. And the specific insight or teaching that I have been given, is that as things return to some normalcy, I must not slip back into my former complacency; others, as wonderful as they may be, cannot replace my need for and reliance upon God. These last 12 months, I have felt our Lord’s presence and heard God’s words in ways that I have not for quite some time.

I have also experienced that when my life is simplified, not only do I hear God‘s voice much more frequently and clearer, I as well am empowered to tap into the gifts of creativity. I have now painted for hundreds of hours, something I was never formally able to do. That spark, that gift re-emerged and became a form of prayer in and of itself. And, I was reminded how our God can take the worst of situations and turn it, use it, for a greater good.

Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Ephesus, “ Glory to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine…” I pray and hope that you as well have experienced God’s goodness in this past difficult year. Do not lose hope, and always remember that you are beloved in the eyes of God.

Finally, I both learned and experienced the remarkable ability of humankind to both adapt and discover new ways to move forward and face the challenges at hand. Through a pre-pandemic committee that I was asked to lead, I witnessed how over the course of this last year, all learned a new “Zoom” way of functioning. Committee members beautifully adapted and learned the new ways that we needed to function to carry out our charge. God’s grace was and always is, incredible…

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