The hardships and sense of apartness I’ve known during the bleakest times in my life are the everyday components of this pandemic. Each person’s story and circumstances are unique and can be a strain to bear, some much more devastating than others. My heart feels as though it can’t contain the sorrow as I watch, read about, and listen to the experiences of so many people and am bombarded by the cold statistics interminably piling up.
But as I go through my days—sometimes stumbling, sometimes serene, often patching things together—I keep learning what I already know: that Jesus’ company and comfort are reliably available and infinitely plentiful, no matter where we find ourselves. I consider this an incomparable relief.
While I was growing up and well into adulthood, I believed that I had to do the wearying work and coping in life by myself. But if I prayed “right” and did everything else flawlessly, God might enter into my situation and help me to some extent. It’s been a continually unfolding blessing to recognize that Jesus does all the heavy lifting and I can find rest, understanding, and embracing strength in him at every moment of life’s inconstant journey. Christ is the perfect companion. There is never social distancing required with him, and certainly no mask, nor any quarantine. He is completely, closely accessible and presents no threat whatsoever to our safety; he actually is our safety in every way. This kind of unvarying, encompassing love and help is beyond my grasp, but it is so direly needed and welcome right now. I will enjoy spending the rest of my life letting it settle over me and settle me in the process. I hope many, many more people are able to do so as well.
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.”