The past few weeks have been challenging, on many different levels. I have found myself revisiting lessons regarding the difference between doing and being.
As the pandemic was starting to move into full swing here on the east coast I was in the hospital. The pump which has been delivering chemotherapy directly to my liver was apparently harming my liver. I found myself battling liver failure. I am grateful my doctors got that figured out and my liver numbers have just about returned to within normal range.
When I arrived home from the hospital, we were just beginning to question what the appropriate response to the corona virus was going to be. A week later we started using language like “social distancing.” Before you knew it, we were under stay at home orders and everyone was living a new normal.
Quiet / Active Engagement
As a pastor my life is a mixture of time spent in quiet and intense engagement with people. I have learned how to balance the two. I need time spent with people. A day where I move from appointment to appointment is normal. Listening to people share of their life and helping them see God in the midst of it brings me great joy. I also recognize the need for me to get away and be still and quiet. My times of retreat and quiet study are important. Without them I have little to offer people when we are together.
The first few weeks of the stay at home orders were extremely hard for me. I was not feeling well, and I could not do those things which give my life meaning and purpose. I was cancelling event after event of what had been promising times of learning and engagement with people I care deeply for. Not meeting for worship on Sunday morning felt very strange. Recording my sermon on Thursday or Friday from the comfort of my study stranger still. The strangest of all was getting up on Sunday morning and slowly making my way through the day.
The Jesuit Center reached out to let me know that they were closed and that the retreat I had planned to lead a few weekends ago was cancelled. A few days later they sent word that my personal retreat was not going to happen. I was mourning all that was not to be.
As I began each new day I found myself reflecting on all the things I could not do. Part of me was frozen. How can you plan for anything when the future is uncertain? My normal pattern, or way of doing was disrupted and it was really messing with how I looked at and viewed just about every aspect of my world. [Read more…]