My beloved friends,
Alleluia! The Lord is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
I imagine this has been a very different Easter for you, and perhaps even a lonely one. But we can rejoice, because Resurrection means that out of death comes life. And that is God’s eternal promise to us all.
You are in my prayers, and I give thanks for all of you. I hope that you are staying well, coping with isolation, and finding joy in the coming of Spring! There is hope — God continually renews the earth, and brings life in barren places.
It is a comfort to be travelling this road with you. I so appreciate your thoughtful emails, your phone calls and messages, your care of one another, your faithfulness in prayer at home and online. Keep up the good work! There is hope — we are not only in this together; we will get through this together, with God’s help!
I hope you have been able to catch Surinder’s wonderful hymn sings on Wednesdays at 7 pm. What a blessing it is to see so many gather and to hear the organ played so beautifully. Surinder is promising us more music to lift our spirits in this time. Thank you Surinder, and stay tuned everyone!
Lately I have heard from a number of people that exhaustion or fatigue has set in. That is understandable. Isolation is an unfamiliar experience and we are learning to cope with radically changed circumstances, which takes a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy.
The indications are that this is going to go on for a while. I’ve been doing some reading about why we’re so exhausted and what can help us, and I want to share some thoughts about that with you.
It is important to recognize that even if we do not feel stressed, we are under enormous stress. This means our bodies and our minds are on high alert most of the time which is exhausting! it’s apparently like being in fight or flight mode all the time. We may be experiencing emotional fatigue as well, as feelings of sorrow, helplessness, frustration, loneliness and even grief arise.
There are things that can help us manage and I am thinking about these as the three Rs of isolation: Routine, Relationship, Record.
- A daily routine can help us stay grounded. So what’s your covid-19 rhythm? The experts are saying a steady daily routine can be helpful in these times. So much of what we are doing in a day is new, and that is exhausting, so bear that in mind. Do more of what brings peace; do less of what is stressful if you can. Here is another good reminder: Breathing slowly and deeply really can lower our stress levels.
- Relationships really matter. Our relationship to God in prayer, our connections to family and friends, our connectedness to creation are spiritually and emotionally sustaining. But you knew that!
- Finally, record your feelings. For some people this will be in a journal. But the point is to take note of how you are feeling: Today is a tired day, a good day, a frustrating day. Naming what we’re feeling can help us decide what will help us cope. I need a walk, a nap, a phone call with a friend.
Finally, if you are overwhelmed by isolation, or by financial or emotional stress, we are here. You are not alone. Give us a call.
This Sunday, we hear the Easter gospel where Jesus comes among his disciples and says Peace be with you. That is my prayer for all of you today, that you are finding God in the midst of this time, giving you rest. May the deep peace of God be with you and those you love.
Here is a prayer from the service of compline that has come to mean much to me in this time. (We say Compline online, Tuesday through Saturday night at 8:30 pm on Facebook live. You might like to try it out.) This makes a wonderful bedtime prayer.
Lord it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done, has not been done. Let it be. The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In your name we pray. Amen
The peace of the Lord be always with you.