When I submitted my meditation for The Upper Room, I clearly had no idea that the world would be struggling with Covid-19. I knew that pandemics were possible, but I believed that they could be contained through modern medicine and science. Instead the world has been faced with shutdowns, isolation, and fear. So my question about where you find shelter in a storm was not just something to think about—it was, and is, something we must live.
Since my wife and I have medical issues and are over 65, we have been very careful about keeping our distance from other people and following our government’s guidelines. We did, however, discover that even if our old patterns of life have been disrupted, new ones have emerged. The most important of these is a set time for morning devotions each day. After breakfast, we go out to our living room. We sit down, quietly read our Bibles, say our prayers, and spend time in silent contemplation. I like to read poetry, and my wife really enjoys reading The Upper Room. Before the pandemic, there were always a million things to do after breakfast. Now, even with the insanity of the world around us, we have discovered a refuge which has enriched us and given us hope and strength.
My advice is to take time each day to read the Bible—just think of all the books of the Bible you could read while you wait for life to return to “normal.” Spend time in prayer: for your family, your neighbors, the victims of COVID-19, the families of people who have lost loved ones, the doctors and nurses and first responders who have given so much to help us, the people who have lost their livelihood. And when you pray, take time to listen to the voice of God, who will always be there to tell you what you can do to help.
I’ve attached photo that I took on one of my “COVID-19 walks” with my wife. It was taken alongside the Susquehanna River. It reminds me that even with all sorts of things happening around us, God’s light can still manage to break through.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”