We have long envisioned a blog on this JCA website, but never in a million years could I have imagined that I would be writing this first post in the midst of a terrible global pandemic that has driven people all over the world into their homes for an unknown stretch of time. So I write these words at a time when one shows love and compassion for others by social distancing, by staying at least six feet away and not coming near.
It struck me that there is one truth that seems needed more now than ever before, and it is this: The Holy One does not practice social distancing! The One who loves us and offers us strength and comfort in these dark times is closer than our breath.
Over 3000 years ago, a shepherd who became a king wrote these words as he pondered this truth that changes everything:
Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me,
and Your right hand shall hold me.
It changes everything for me when I experience this truth, when I encounter the presence of the Holy right where I find myself now… sitting at the desk in our home office, looking out the window at deserted streets, cars in driveways, the sun rising, the first roses beginning to bloom, wondering where “normal” went, feeling anxious and grateful all at the same time.
It changes everything when I notice my breath coming in and going out, and when I remember that I am not alone. The One who loves me is not six feet away. The One who loves me is near.
by Joanna Quintrell, Spiritual Director & Executive Director of the Journey Center Association, written 04/08/2020