In my mother’s kitchen pantry, there were always a few items we could go to when the refrigerator seemed a little vacant, or even if it was full when nothing there could really satisfy our particular hunger.
When you are feeling a spiritual or emotional hunger in a moment, what is your “go to” that is not merely distraction but truly lifts up your downcast soul? Is it music? physical exercise? a song? a passage of scripture? laughing with a friend? poetry? a novel? an old hymn? Go to your “pantry” and feast on the goodness you have stored away with God.
Spiritual practices can by grace lead to Holy Encounter. While complying with Stay-at-home orders, the following practices are offered to alleviate a sense of disconnection, ease the tension of uncertainty, and approach the Life that is lived from a Divine Center.[i]
Be attentive in this day to what you can do. While your usual ways of serving might be limited for now, let your acts of mercy be primarily in your home.
For one day, let humility guide you into courteous respect, solicitude, and tender love for others by fasting from the use of sarcasm, ridicule, teasing and having the last word.
Choose to practice loving Listening:
Everything is different now. Make a list of all the things you now miss that a month ago you took for granted, and offer your gratitude for them to God. Make a list of the people taken for granted, and offer your gratitude for them to God—then check in with them by email, phone or text. Or for those of us who remember how, send a thank you note by mail.
Early morning. Sit quietly and watch the light begin to brighten the sky. Notice it move through the trees. After a time, taking steady breaths, slowly rise and whether you’re inside or outside, walk directly into a patch of light. Inhale and feel the light on your face. Be still and know the unnamable One. Inhale and receive God’s peace. As you exhale whisper your gratitude to God.
Afternoon. Go for a walk. Feel yourself move in rhythm with your breathing. Allow your senses to focus on details—sunlight on a branch, the shimmering surface of a puddle, moss growing on a stone—and touch the things that have captured your attention. Allow yourself to feel wonder about them.
Evening. Sit quietly outside. Allow your breath and the air you are breathing to become one. Keep breathing slowly until you feel, with each breath, the spaciousness of God.
Think about the things that are used to define you.
While social-distancing is wisely the universal and global practice for the duration of this pandemic, I know I’m not alone. The invisible and always present Jesus, is still closer than my next breath.
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[i] Kelly, Thomas. A Testament of Devotion. (San Francisco, Harper & Brothers, 1941), pg.3
[ii] Nepo, Mark. The Book of Awakening. Gift edition first published in 2011 by Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel / Weiser, LLC, San Francisco, CA . Copyright © 2000 by Mark Nepo. Introduction to gift edition © 2011 by Mark Nepo
[iii] Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracey, Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. (Harpercollins, NY. March 24, 1988), pg. 211
Hello, I'm Kathi Gatlin. Thanks for stopping by!