Celebrating the Gift of God’s Love

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My apologies for not posting a blog post last week. For Julie and myself last week was a perfect storm of too much happening. We had Julie’s sister and her husband in town to seek a medical diagnosis for a continuing health problem that doctors in their hometown of Pocatello Idaho could not figure out. We are blessed that the doctor here was able to come to some conclusions and plot a path forward. Julie and her sister took the opportunity to investigate new living arrangements for their mother, which is always a stressful life event. I was involved in helping my youngest son moving into his new apartment, which of course was on the third floor with no elevator. Along with all this, it seemed the world was melting down.

We were able to host many dinners, but the added work of buying food frequently and preparing meals was starting to wear us down a bit. Just what is not needed right now. Last week I was shopping in Aldi and all of sudden noticed that the store was very crowded and the shelves were getting bare. I had to get my nerves under control and stop the urge to panic buy whatever I could get. Some prayer and reflection on the scripture:

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:26-27

was able to calm me down. The good news is that people were polite and were abiding by the limits on what you could buy. I was able to easily get what I needed for dinner been Aldi and a stop to Target.

Julie and I have been resting up and settling into a life that includes daily change and news. In some ways, the slowing down this week has been a good thing for us and we are able to get out for walks and see neighbors (with proper social distance). It is good to see people out walking and taking care of themselves in this stressful time. I am grateful that spring is coming a bit early to Minnesota and being able to see and hear the birds has been a source of comfort. It also helps me to remember the above scripture.

Prayer life is very important during this time and the slowness provides time for prayer, reading, and reflection on what is most important in our lives.  As people of faith, we trust in God and the promise of everlast life. Our faith also calls us to help others as we can during these times and to pray for our world community.

In closing I will leave you with some beautiful thoughts from Pope Francis as he and Italy struggle with the virus:

“Don’t waste these difficult days,” instead “rediscover” the importance of “small, concrete gestures expressing closeness and concreteness toward the people closest to us, a caress for our grandparents, a kiss for our children, for the people we love.”

With peace and blessings,

Deacon Richard



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