While Christians and Jews embark on solo journeys through Holy Week and Passover, a friend sent me this inspiring music video that serves as my message of hope and joy through this unique and stressful Holy Season. Shalom to all!
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain (Vivian Greene). I spent a lifetime learning to do just that as a professional dancer. I still dance during most melancholy moments. Given this is a Spiritual Season for so many linked with the advent of an apex-of-loss, the circumstances almost demand that we burst forth with song, acclaim our heroines and heroes, and pray to God whom many have forgotten or just set aside.
I believe this musical offering is everything God wants us to be: Love. Strength. Courage. Hope. Selflessness. Yes, this is overflowing with His love. Spero ti piaccia!
Nothing in this blog post is mine except for the few words I’ve penned. Even so, I press back the invisible enemy and sing with Roby Facchinetti and whirl around in dance during the height of The Silent Storm. And, most assuredly these songs and dances are prayers for our Jewish brothers and sisters whose Passover season, in part, is to remember the past, learn from their long history with God, and move forward with hope. Christians honor the Resurrection of Jesus Christ remembering the past, His sorrowful Passion, yet ‘Raise a Hallelujah’ for the renewal of our hearts, our souls, our salvation.
Let’s sing and dance in praise for everyone across the whole earthly globe never forgetting to pray for the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, give hope for those in despair while asking for His Divine Mercy. God has not left us. We need only to trust and ask. He will answer and provide.
We will embrace one another and walk arm-in-arm again. And, yes, we WILL meet again.
A final snowstorm visited us last week. The snow’s light, fluffy flakes swirled playfully, even flirtatiously, only to morph into a steadfast force blanketing a brown, barren landscape. The image above complements the whimsy of the snowfall. The lights reflected in my window appear to be joyful, bouncing balls-of-light that I imagined angels tossed back and forth in the woodlands outside. The snow melted quickly as the landscape returned to its former monochromatic brown. However, within days little green shoots poked out of garden soil already prepared for the blossoming of new blooms and the welcome return of old perennials.
We are enmeshed in a Quiet War. The enemy is invisible. And, it is silent. The governor of the state of New York said, This is a Long Day. Most of us are at home now except for those courageous, essential workers in healthcare and other services as well as volunteers bringing food and aid to those in need. While we are not under Martial Law, we are self-quarantined. This requires staying within our four walls, taking walks, exercising outside, gardening, cleaning our homes a bit more than usual, both inside and out, while limiting errands to only what we absolutely need to do. People are impatient, scared, worried, and we have at least another month in which we will live as those did abroad, and here too, during WWII. Grocery shelves are bare and as the stores restock they empty in less than a day.
Our country, the globe, is almost at a full stop. Yet we cannot abdicate our faith and endurance to fear, worry, panic. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34) However, there is a ‘but’ to this scripture verse for so many. It lives in the reality that there is vast, rising unemployment, climbing numbers of those who become ill and hospitalized, and hardships not experienced in generations. Nevertheless, we were created with free will: The right to choose whether or not to ponder, even obsess upon, the rapidly soaring death tolls. We are but mere humans. Though fearfully and wonderfully made, we are vulnerable.
I have no control over what is happening so I remain calm, patient, and at peace. Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) What I can do is be responsible and stay home. I pray for others: my family, friends both near and far, neighbors, those with whom I normally worship on Sundays, and the sick, dying, and brave ones on the front lines. How I wish, oh how I wish, I was not among the “vulnerable” due to my age. I ask, How can I help? The only way I know is, hopefully, to warm your hearts and lift your spirits with stirring images and inspiring words: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have Divine Power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
As a woman of faith, God is at the center of my life. I spend a lot of time in prayer with a well-worn Bible open in my lap. Not all of you believe in God, but one doesn’t need to in order to enjoy my images from seasons now past.
There were long morning walks showing me things again and again that finally came to life while the Still Small Voice guided my eye and the shutter release of my camera.
Memories unfold of a nighttime scene in a place once called Witten Pond where one could touch the face of God in the light of a full moon.
Inside my apartment, one cat, Lily, shared her short life with me. The other, Abbey, remains steadfast in her companionship, hearty purr, and one eye open while she sleeps.
While we have no mortal weapons with which to fight an unseen enemy, we can embrace faith, courage, and peace during this trial most of us probably thought we would never see in our lifetimes. We must overcome fear for neither love nor light can exist where fear lives. And we need both.
Keep people safe by being responsible for ourselves, pray for those on the front lines and others who struggle. Help the helpless if you are able, adapt to the new normal without complaint, accept only our fair share (maybe even less)—living more simply so some can simply live, and refrain from blaming anyone or anything. Let us move forward and keep our hearts and minds on the following: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
I light a prayer-candle in my heart in honor of all who are on the front lines of this Quiet War and for those who are abandoned, frightened, confused, and lonely during the Long Day ahead. My candle will continue to burn and my prayers will not end.
Thank you for spending time with me. I hope you were able to pause, breathe, and ponder enough to lift your hearts and raise your thoughts to the sacredness of Creation and know, deep within, that we will overcome this Quiet War and be ready for new beginnings. Trials forge character, even change character—for the better. With God’s love, mercy, and grace we can do this. We will do this.