Coronavirus continues to overshadow what we take for granted and is considered now to be pandemic. Where I’m staying in Perthshire, there is a sense of unspoken unease, and the empty public spaces are like a badly kept secret.
Fear and uncertainty seems to have moved into the neighborhood of all we usually take for granted.
I bring to mind the ancient blessing I daily spoke over patients on the threshold between life and death, when I was a spiritual care chaplain. People for whom the worst was happening to them and those they loved.
The words are not a palliative, but touch something at the heart of every passing moment, and the inevitable change this always brings: God is there. God is already present. I trust that to be true.
One of the things I have become increasingly aware of this lent is that my ability to locate the presence of God, analyze its activity, and then describe it to others, is not that important. To think that it is, is less to do with trusting God, and more to do with trying to control God. God cannot be controlled by me or anyone.
But he can be loved and trusted. So there is only a willingness to trust, that wherever I am, whatever is happening, I can trust I am known by God (and to be known is to be loved).
I don’t even invite God into my life, God is already there, drawing me deeper into his knowing: a knowing that is infinite love. How do I know? My restless seeking is a response, not a initiative.
“You made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you…”Saint Augustine
So a blessing for these uncertain days and troubling times…
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.Psalm 121