It’s human nature to only just seem to think only of ourselves in times of lockdown and difficulties, We are all worried and concerned for our safety, our provisions, our family, food, and shelter, Our focus falls only on ourselves. We should, however, take a moment take a look around. There are people around us who require financial assistance, who do not have enough food for the next week if the lockdown continues. There is much loneliness and frustration in being unable to communicate with their loved ones by phone, Facebook, email, or WhatsApp, as many of us are able.
During the intervening months, we created this garden as a place of gathering, a place of life in the midst of death. Friends donated plants “in honor of their animal companions and, in this strange way of the pandemic, attended Alvie’s memorial there – both in person (outdoors and physically distanced) and via Zoom. Holding the thresholds of death and life in one time and one place that day, we dedicated the garden and also offered a welcoming ritual for our rescue pit bull, Sophie Grace.”
The idea is simple, but ideas by themselves are incomplete. To come alive and reach their fullness, Episcopal schools are centered in the conviction that ideas and ideals like goodness must take on flesh and become part of our everyday lives and practices. In the language of faith, goodness must become incarnational.
“This better reflects the teaching Matthew gives us just a few verses later. Here we’re told, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or sick or in prison – or without oil – and took care of you?’ And Jesus answers, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these – or a foolish bridesmaid – you did it to me.'”
“Together, we pushed through and encouraged each other to remember our reasons for coming. On a day hike from base camp, we reached a higher pass, which created space for a draft to come through and give reprieve from the bugs. We sat in awe of the alpine backdrop and exchanged roundtable questions. ‘Do you like yourself?’ someone posed to the group. The chatter stopped.”
And now my prayer is, Oh God, please find me, follow my small patches of prayer like a trail of breadcrumbs through my day. At day’s end, even though thoughts and images fill our minds, we try to say a full prayer, Our Father, Glory Be to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, we say the prayers we learned as children. Even then, it takes determination, so often, to concentrate on one prayer without the distractions of the day, of the world, invading the tiny space we try to make for holy time.
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