These days, it’s rare to have conversations that don’t include the pandemic. COVID-19 has become a “crowd of fears and sorrows who violently sweep our house empty of its furniture.” (paraphrasing Rumi, The Guest House).
We invest the word COVID-19 with undeserved power. Yes, the virus has harassed the world and wreaked havoc, taking lives and changing economies. It has infused us with fear and grief, and left us longing for better times.
Yet in all of this, we retain the power to respond creatively with love instead of fear.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says that we must “become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven on earth.” (Matt 18:3, paraphrased). In other words, childlike innocence moves us into a state of well-being independent of circumstances.
Whenever I need a dose of Childlike Innocence, I turn to our congregant, Peter. Peter is an unsung hero. He teaches third grade, and like all of our heroic teachers, he manages anxious families, and keeps his students’ learning on track. In response to some of the fear arising in his students, Peter provided a way to “De-Monster-fy” COVID 19. I have adapted it slightly. Peter won’t mind, and I urge you to get creative also, and make this your own.
- C – is for Caring. Do 19 acts of Caring. Remember to include self-care.
- O – is for Opportunity. Look at 19 inner or outer obstacles you’ve discovered. Then turn each one into an Opportunity.
- V – is for Vision. En-Vision 19 miracles that may arise out of the pandemic.
- I – is for Intentional Practice. Mediate or Pray for 19 minutes; or do 19 acts of Kindness and trace 19 Ripples.
- D – is for Decision. Our friend Daniel Nahmod wrote a song called Love is My Decision. Find 19 ways to decide for love. Then… D is for do all of this again.
I know we’re up to the task.
On a personal note, I decided to try “V” – en-Visioning a resurgence of nature. I drove up a mountain and braked for some slow peacocks crossing the road. I went around the next bend, and there was a black bear lumbering down the deserted highway. Nature, made her presence known, and I smiled, wondering what other miracles might be in store for us.
Will you try some of these practices? Let us know what unfolds for you.