April 16, 2020

Published April 17, 2020 by St Matthews Lutheran Church in Daily Message

We typically use the term “natural resources” to refer to things like water, forests, and land deposits containing minerals and fossil fuels. We could make a compelling argument, however, for an even more precious natural resource: human relationships. I am convinced that love and social connection matter more than anything else in life. The priority of such relational wealth may not be obvious, given some of the purchasing and lifestyle decisions we make. But plenty of those decisions turn out to be distractions that only cloud the importance of social needs vital to our survival.

                                          Peter W. Marty, Christian Century, April 8, 2020

I may have mentioned this in a Daily Messenger recently – I am an extrovert. That simply means that I reenergize around people and when I am isolated I get lethargic and downright cranky. Thus this quote from Peter Marty. During this pandemic, we are having to physically distance ourselves from each otherand for those who are not social media savvy, the situation is isolating. Either produces additional stress.

So, how do we move forward and still practice responsibility by maintaining these physical and social distances?

Prayer comes to mind first. As Henri Nouwen says in his book, With Open Hands, prayer is not an easy thing because we are invited into a relationship with God, allowing God “to enter into the very center of your person, allow him to speak there,…to touch the sensitive core of your being, and allow him to see so much that you would rather leave in darkness.”

This kind of prayer – called centering prayer – does require an openness to that ultimate relationship with God that the mystics called union. It is at times a scary place, but it is also a place where we find peace and hope. It is that place of healing that allows us to be open to human relationships in a new way.

Consider joining our vitality prayer group in the practice of centering prayer for you will find healing and hope.