Growing Edges Keeping Hope Alive: Radical Courage in Difficult Times Part 4

In the space of less than 24 hours last week, I had two experiences with the effects of this Covid 19 virus that have given me much to ponder.

First, I encountered an angry man in my dentist’s office who was flaunting his freedom by not wearing a mask and by roaming around among the 3 of us who were masked, waiting to pay our dentists’s services.  The man made a point of getting unnecessarily close to us and speaking to us.   The office staff, all masked to protect all of us, including the unmasked man, did a masterful job of staying calm, doing their jobs and then wiping down all surfaces as soon as he left.

The next day, driving to an appointment, I realized that I had turned right instead of left as I was looking for a particular tree on a tree-lined boulevard which my friend had described to me.  As soon as I realized I was going the wrong direction, so I pulled into a driveway so I could turn around.  Backing out of a stranger’s driveway, my eyes caught sight of a small sign on the ground near the driveway.

We’ll make it”, the sign declared, and I felt tears spring to my eyes.

We will make it, but what shape will we be in when all of this pandemic passes?

We will make it, but what will we have lost?   And among us, who are the ones we will have lost?

We will make it, but which of us will be able only to survive and who will be the ones to thrive?   Who will gain by this pandemic, and who will have lost everything or what matters most?

As a child, my dad taught me to “sit steady in the boat” when life is tossing me around.

As an adult, I’ve written a book entitled “Sitting Strong”, and yet, as faithfully as I have tried to do that, I admit or confess (take your pick) that when the angry man without a mask was circling around me in a close space, I was unsettled.  I also admit that when I saw that sign in a stranger’s driveway, I had to pause and allow that small sign to nudge me back to my center, the center where I remember the counsel of Julian of Norwich:

All will be well, and all will be well.   And all manner of things will be well.

   Those famous words of Julian of Norwich have been repeated by many during this time in which we are living.   Julian was an English woman who lived her life in the tiny cell attached to the church in Norwich, England, in the 14th century.   In meditation, she had several visions, which she carefully wrote down, and in the war-torn, pandemic-plagued time in which she lived, she maintained her steady faith in the love of God.  When people came to her with their troubles, her counsel remained the same.  Her writings were compiled into a book entitled Revelation of Divine Love, which was the first printed work by a woman.   Here is the larger text from which the above quote is taken:

He did not say 

You will not be troubled, you will not be belabored, 

you will not be disquieted;

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