God is with us in all of this!

Sr. Joan Meerschaert, O.P.
Adrian Dominican Sister
Adrian, MI USA

It is a beautiful, sunny, fall morning, and the leaves are just beginning to turn shades of gold and red. At first glance, one thinks “All is right with the world”, and then the memory of the presence of COVID-19 in our daily life returns.

Since March of 2019, the world has been quite different. The days and months have been challenging. Much of what was once taken for granted, just cannot be assumed today. Mass is viewed via computer or tv, friends and family can be visited via phone or e-mail, but not in person, as the campus remains closed to visitors and friends. We are not able to attend wakes and funerals, so deaths of family members and dear friends do not include the usual closure that is provided by attendance at a wake or funeral. A simple trip to the store or pharmacy is not an option, so a trip to the doctor or dentist becomes an exciting opportunity for a brief change of scenery.  Vacations, family, and community celebrations, short colour tours, all become something to plan for hopefully in the future, but not at this time.

Yet, despite the challenges and restrictions, each day we are called to remember that God is still in charge and is with us in all of this. Sometimes there is an emptiness or hollowness to the days, but other times we come to appreciate even more God’s presence in our daily lives, and we learn to appreciate the difference between the things we ‘need’ and the things we ‘want’. There has been some extra time for reading, for prayer, and just for “being” …even for that second cup of coffee in the morning. In those moments when we are feeling down, lonely, or discouraged, we can use those extra moments we have for prayer, and to renew our trust in God. We can get to know each other better (at least those we rub shoulders with daily). We offer thanks for the ways we have been blessed and ask God to be with us as we walk these strange paths of the pandemic. We turn to each other (whatever size our temporary community may be) for support and understanding. We remain a grateful people for all that we have been given and remember in prayer those suffering from the illness or from other side effects of it. Our lives have changed in these months, and at times the changes are not easy to deal with, but in all of this, we know that God is still with us and looking over us and has not left us alone.

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