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How I am surviving the Pandemic from the pew: I am asking different members of our faith community to write a few words about their experience during this pandemic. How it effects their spiritual life growth – help  or hinder. You may relate to them or it may help you during this time to hear how others are coping.

Pandemic 2020 view from the pew:  A parishioner

The reality of lockdown isolation first sank in when I couldn’t stop feeling rushed, even though there was no place to go. Then a strange relief began to ease life and soften prayer. Thoughts of reading well, rediscovering fountain pens and photographing early spring beauty felt dream-like. It has been life changing. However it is important to say that isolation also brought an anxious sense that my very self might begin to unthread. I had food on my mind constantly – from Stove Top dressing to cornflakes to burning hot, spicy falafel, and much more. Then I headed into some bizarre antics such as: having not just one, but two tattoos carved into my arm and ankle!  and decorating a hole in my car, with flowers.  The reality of a dark and gloomy basement packed with bins, bags and boxes began to focus itself on my mind, and great progress was made, for a while. Many golden treasures were found, such as letters from older people who had been just “out there” with no strings attached, faithfully loving, praying, cheering me on as a young person. One of them was Sister Agnes Teresa whose loved photo is on my piano. Life in many facets began to sweep in with gratitude and joy from memories in the basement. There also began to flood back many thoughts of failure, regrets and painful, unanswerable questions. The humble prayer, “Please help me”, was often prayed with little or no faith but always reminded me of Father Randy’s beautiful words: “Jesus calms us down and reminds us that He is always present to us.” I became increasingly aware that Jesus loves us to be real with Him. I hung a painting of His face in the midst of the mess and chaos and was ashamed at having so much “stuff”. It is as if you have arranged to meet with Him, His eyes are scanning the distant hillside as He watches for you and He can’t wait for you to come. It is filled with His knowing about everything, His understanding, His ever healing, ever redeeming, and utterly accepting love. It is as if you are the only one in the world; yet He fills the universe. As I am sure for each one of you, receiving Holy Communion for the very first time , after months of St. Anne being closed, was unforgettable.