How has your life changed during this time of sheltering in place? I see some of you via Zoom Session meetings or at centering prayer, that’s a change. I haven’t yet found the storehouse of Zoom backgrounds that offer an exotic flavor to an ordinary gathering. That is something to look forward to in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, we’ve begun to glimpse the bookshelves and living rooms of folks we’ve only seen in church up until now–as well as of journalists, TV show hosts, and authors.
On a deeper level, I’ve found wonderful spiritual and wellness opportunities and have added to my large scale stores of hope. Quite by chance I saw a Facebook post from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago with the invitation to Zoom into a lecture on what Thomas Merton has to offer us in this time of Covid-19. The content was very meaningful for me but what I want to highlight is the attendance. I was there with over 350 people from three continents. The Australians were joining in at the same time but in the early morning hours of our tomorrow :). Later that day, I was in a smaller centering prayer group with people from four US states and a woman from South Africa.
I have been online with hundreds more from around the world through the University of Minnesota online offerings for learning and wellness through the Alumni Association, the continuing education offerings, and the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing. As we separate ourselves from physical contact with our closest friends and neighbors, we can open ourselves to community with new virtual/spiritual neighbors from anywhere and everywhere.
Dear people of God, while I in no way believe this virus is punishment from God, I believe God uses everything to work toward the wellness and wholeness of God’s household. As I said on Sunday, this is a time for openness! God is at work for good and for growth!
Peace and curiosity to you,