I met a friend for lunch today. We are facing into greater restrictions in Ireland, and so we will not be able to meet again until December.
She said to me, “I just feel sad; this heavy weight of sadness.”
When we locked down in March, the days were getting longer and warmer. We rather cheerfully and optimistically planted gardens, baked bread, took walks, and painted things.
This time, the days are quickly getting shorter. As I write this, the wind is howling down the chimney and rain beats against the windows.
I think it will be a greater challenge to be optimistic this time. My friend today called this feeling “free-floating anxiety”.
I open up my journal and see that God has been speaking to this time for the past week, as I have been reading through certain scriptures.
This is what I have written (my own abridged and loosely revised version):
I am your God.
You are the one I watch over, the sheep under my care.
Oh, that you would listen to my voice today!
I am the Lord who created you, and I say to you,
“Do not be afraid!
I have ransomed and redeemed you.
I have called you by name, Beloved.
You are mine.”
I made all of the delicate, inner parts of your body.
You are wonderfully, marvelously complex.
I saw you before you were born,
and I recorded all of your days in my book.
My thoughts toward you are precious to me,
as you are precious to me.
I was with you before you were born,
and I am still with you.
A prayer for this time:
Inhale: You watch over me.
Exhale: I am under your care.
Inhale: You say, “Do not be afraid.”
Exhale: “You are Mine.”
Inhale: You saw me before I was born.
Exhale: You are still with me.
I started with a photo of a sanctuary stone. Sanctuary is anywhere, everywhere we are, with Christ.
That’s what I would have said...