May 9, 2020
My weekly love care package from College Avenue Presbyterian Church arrived. Today’s package included a candleholder with a tea-light candle; a meditation stone with the word “hope” engraved upon it; Oh… and the delicious homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie! I’m eating clean during the shelter in place. However, when the love care package arrives with a lovingly made treat, I consider that communion, and you ‘bet your sweet bippy’, I ATE that cookie! The letter spoke of Centering Prayer and included suggestions and examples. “Centering Prayer is about going through and past that ‘noise’ which distracts us from God’s presence and our involvement in the ongoing conversation of creation.”
My day centered around reading for my Theological Literacy class next week. As I read outside, I took lots of breaks: to look at the butterflies swirling around my garden; feel the sun warming my limbs; watch the roses swaying in the wind; listen to the two crazy squirrels scurrying about and chatting up a storm; taste the squeezed Meyer lemon from my tree that I had put in my water.
The exploration of theology is not feeling very centered. Perhaps it is this time of the pandemic. I long for the silence to see, feel, watch, listen, taste all the ways I am connected to the conversation with the Divine.
Late afternoon I joined with over 400 people around the world for “A Virtual Vigil Honoring The Dead and Celebrating Life”. Then came a small group of three on Zoom for Self-Care and Prayer… a weekly gathering that I’m coming to treasure for grounding.
In the midst of the day I find I am stopping more often to breathe, meditate, reflect, pray. In the midst of reading about different theologies; I am thinking of those theologians throughout history that were in isolation, and how the depth of that isolation gave them insight into the Divine.
For now I press on reading and listening to recorded lectures and writing reflection papers as I process the contents of my class. And I give thanks for the centering opportunities placed on my path.
My mailbox held two pieces of delivered mail today, and both were special.
I had seen on my local neighborhood group that a girl named Elaine has taken it upon herself to leave notes of encouragement at this time. Her Father asked if anyone might like a note from Elaine; and if so, to send him our address. So I did! And today I received my sweet note. Along with geo-fabulous artwork was written, “I hope you stay safe and healthy. Sincerely, Elaine”
And then I opened a “Save The Date” card, adorned in sunflowers and announcing the impending marriage of my young cousin Ashley. In this time, new beginnings, such as marriage and newborn babies certainly bring hope.
The photograph attached shows a few of my Saturday surprises and treats. I’ll continue my quest of theology tomorrow; taking more time of centering and reflection upon the way, and embracing all the surprises and hope that come my way.
I give thanks for this day;
For ways of centering;
For those that have gone before and shared their experience;
For ways of connecting;
For flowers, notes, stones, cookies, roses, candle, lemon juice, butterflies, sunshine, love, birth…
May it be so