Recently my husband and I were talking about times in our lives when we were living on shoestrings and hope. Our futures were as wide as an ocean. We were ready to swim across it’s turbulent waters. Things seemed simpler.
Those times were unfettered by the weightiness of retirement decisions, saving enough, staving off the worst effects of aging with diet and exercise, and the daily stillbirths of dreams in a politically bankrupt, COVID time.
It felt like a Providential time, where Divine guidance and care shimmered in the shadows, leading mysteriously at times, and outright at others. I can look back and see that all my basic needs were cared for, despite the fact that I perseverated at times about having “enough”.
Despite the ways I like to control and know my destiny, plan and make sure I have “enough”, I realize that at every moment of my life, I am always living Providentially. No moment besides the one right in front of me is ever granted or guaranteed. Somehow COVID brings that into clear relief. Corona virus is the boss, no matter how much we humans might resist this reality.
And so, it is soul tending that stays my body and soul during these days of being tossed and thrown about in that big, wide ocean of life.
It is the regular practice—however brief each day—of turning towards the one sacred moment that we have in front of us, giving my monkey mind free reign, even as I reel her back in (!), relishing with gratitude my breath, my life, the gifts given just for this day.
In my book Soul Tending: Journey into the Heart of Sabbath, I note Thomas Merton’s words:
Contemplation…is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being…it is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes both beyond reason and beyond simple Faith.
Thomas Merton in New Seeds of Contemplation (New York: New Directions, 2007), 1
And so we are held in a Providential web of grace. If all around us burns down, we only have to reach out to the wider community for a hand up. God is there and everywhere. We human beings are the hands and feet of the Divine.
Here’s a song that reminds me that we need one another….Sanctuary by Carrie Newcomer.
Anita Amstutz is offering special packages for soul tending and companioning/counseling during these days when the tides of suffering seems to be rising….Send this link to your loved ones, give them a gift of 2 sessions! Please check out Wisdom Ways of Being,