Each day, seemingly each hour, we receive news of escalating efforts by government leaders, both national and state, to contain and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis. We worry about our health, livelihoods, savings and the well- being of loved ones and our community.
How does faith speak into the context of such a time? Each of the world religions offer wisdom and sustenance for the challenges of real life, in real time.
Within my Christian tradition, I draw upon these words from John 20:19
‘On the evening of Easter, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of being arrested, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!’
Jesus entered into their fear and spoke a word of peace…a word of hope…a word of blessing. So it is for us today. We too, caught up in our own worry, anxiousness, fear, are invited to open our hearts, minds and imagination to the infinite ways in which faith sustains, even as we seek to offer healing and hope to one another.
‘Peace be with you’.
Here’s few ideas for cultivating a faith life, regardless of which faith tradition you call home:
Find a prayer partner. Ask someone you are comfortable with, a person from your faith tradition , to keep you in their prayers. And, offer to do the same for that person. Be specific as to what you’d like them to keep in prayer. Once a week, via email, text or phone, let each other know how you’re doing. Allow your prayer life to evolve and grow.
Read a Scripture passage each day. Consider reading a Psalm a day or a chapter or two from the Gospel of Mark, or from a source of wisdom that resonates for you.
Lectio Divina (meditating on Scripture), For Christians I suggest starting with 1 John 4: 7 – 21 (this also works with any sacred text and or, poetry). Once per day, select 3 or so verses. Read the same passage three times, interspersed with 5 minutes of silence. Focus on the gentle rhythm of your breath to help you relax into the silence. With each reading ask one question: 1) What word or phrase intrigues you; 2) what insight/wisdom do you hear; 3) what wisdom will you carry with you?
Take a mindful walk (in the woods, garden, neighborhood, beach). Walk in silence. Notice what interests you on your walk, notice what thoughts and feelings come to mind. Don’t judge, simply notice and give all this up to that great Source we call God/Creator/Spirit.
Each of these practices invites us to sense/hear/to drink from a deep reservoir of ancient spiritual wisdom, reminding us that we are not alone…that we are known, remembered, cherished. A reminder that the uncertainty of any given moment, need not be the final word.
Do you believe this to be true?
“Peace be with you”.
May it be so.