November marked eight months since we began social distancing, wearing masks and self-isolating precipitated by the COVID-19 world pandemic. These months were filled with sickness, deaths, protests, economic shutdowns, riots, hurricanes, forest fires, floods, and an angry, hateful election. And now we face a Holiday Season of fearful uncertainty, loneliness and depression for many, and isolation from loved ones.
Still, we know we have been blessed by God with faith and hope over these long months. And we continue praying for our family, friends, and country as we move into this strange and lonely Christmas season, hopeful of God’s forgiveness, intercession, and healing hand. All that really matters to Him is that we love and care for one another, regardless of politics or religion.
Nymph, angel or spirit? Walking through untouched nature in a autumn wonderland this morning, I feel an exceptional closeness to God… actually I always feel this way in the woods. But since our loving God, ‘I am’, is an indescribable presence to us dust mote humans, I find myself looking for signs of His/Her presence in Mother Nature usually as a mysterious, fleeting nymph called Serendipity.
As I meander along the trail, I recognize Serendipity (God’s presence!) in the murmuring tree tops, dancing shadows, fluttering leaves, bird songs, and burbling brooks. Through them, I hear Him gently say to me, “Be not afraid…My peace I give to you,” and I smile. A squirrel chatters overhead.
I have always been a fan of Michael Dylan Welch, and his haiku always leave me with warm feelings. Welch’s Beach Fire haiku below brought a memory and a smile to my face, as humming has been a fallback for most of my life. Memorizing poems and songs has always been an problem for me, so I have become quite good at it over the years. In fact, I find myself humming almost all the time when I am engrossed or concentrating! Perhaps that is significant?
So refreshing to find others who understand that violence is the other pandemic disease ravaging our world. This shared post from Aratibanstola in Nepal, on the opposite side of the world from Louisiana USA, shows we all face the same violence by those who hate the values and morals of the civilized world. Pray for God’s intercession. Blessings and peace.
I love to ramble or follow the bouncing ball through poet and faith blogs, and I am amazed to find so many Christians who think and feel the way I do. This post I share https://beautybeyondbones.com/2020/09/24/where-is-god/ is so refreshing, and the many comments so reinforcing for my spirit. Pray for America and the world.
Another day of coronavirus self-quarantine dawns and the TV shows another night and day of riots and shootings. A quiet prayer for peace and law and order forms in my thoughts as I slowly sip my coffee. Then, in my old age, I sadly reflect on the state of my America which I have always loved, respected, and honored. But enough for now! On my iPad Pro, a Facebook memory pops up from four years ago. As nature’s beauty and simplicity are always my escape from the evil and hate rampant in our world, I happily share it again. God’s blessings and peace.
Along the road at nearby Lake Martin on a warm spring morning, I see a decaying stump spotlighted in a sun beam. Around this old stump, a new creeper vine spirals upward toward the light, grasping tightly to the dead wood where it can for support. I remember my father’s smile. Life rises from death and will not be denied!
“…The Lord is near. 6 Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4: 5-7)
The old man, soon to be 80 years old, awakens on a Tuesday morning as he always does. He lies quietly in bed, listening to his wife’s soft breathing, and thanks God for this new day, her untroubled sleep, and their continuing health. Glancing at the sunlight on the sheer curtains, he sees promise of another typical hot summer day. But he also happily notes that days are finally growing a bit shorter now.
Wincing at a twinge of arthritic hip pain, he silently crawls out of bed, puts on his slippers, and eases down the long hall to the kitchen. The house is soundless as it always is each morning, except for a faint lawnmower. In a few minutes he holds a steaming cup of coffee in his hands, thankful for the modern ingenuity of his trusty K-cup coffee machine. After opening the sunroom and living room drapes, the old man moves to his favorite glider chair and sits to relish his coffee, meditate and pray, and consider the new day ahead.
In the stillness, he becomes aware of the endless ticking of the old wall clock, a sound that has become quite familiar and, perhaps, even friendly for the last six months. It has been that long since the old man and his wife of fifty plus years decided to self-quarantine themselves against the deadly coronavirus mercilessly ravaging the whole world. If it was solitude they wanted, they have it now in abundance! But he also thinks how blessed they and their family have been so far and gratefully thanks God again. Next, reflecting on the day ahead, he accepts the inevitable again: that this day will be much like all the other ‘pandemic’ yesterdays. It is like being in a submarine, he smiles, with the hatch closed and afraid to open it! Reciting the Serenity Prayer, he then takes a savoring sip of coffee, inhales the wafting aroma, and opens his daily haiku notebook…