“Small Miracles, Tangible Good”, from L.Willows (see Jesus, Spiritual Resources, Tangible Goodness of God)

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Yesterday I had a few hours when my sense of being able to cope with all that is going on suddenly felt like it was collapsing like a finely built fence that was falling down.  I thought that my heart and mind had settled into peace with home isolation. We are all in this together. (For me, it had only been one week so far)

I have seen clips on the news of neighbors singing to one another from their balconies to encourage in Europe. I remember living in Italy and my heart breaks for the people there and in other places where cultures are so naturally outgoing and warm.

We need to connect to one another and in a way, society seems to lose that with technology. Now, we are faced with challenges of isolation and distance. Our hearts and prayers will need to grow.  We are in new territory. It is one that we can’t see. Maybe it is miraculous.

As I said before, I love “Live-Life”. I am sure that you do too. We are all making a sacrifice. But as I said earlier my mini fortress started to melt even though I have many advantages to be grateful for.

What I did not expect is that in this “new normal”, we will each come to face issues and problems that will surprise us, even those of us that believe that we are equipped spiritually.

There are new tests that we will face in the coming months. For me, this experience taught me to be prepared and not to be too confident or feel too prepared.  Let me share how I responded and maybe it will help.

  1. First, I was surprised to find that I was overwhelmed by a set of unexpected circumstances that were new. I was not prepared for them. I tried to scramble to fix the problem quickly; time was of the essence. (using my own resources, my own strength, my own cleverness- that sound like my pride at work…) This did not work. This skill-set does not work in these extraordinary circumstances (they never have, but most especially- Now)
  2. Yes, I did pray right away for help. But I went in two directions at once, which is like nullifying prayer. I called out to God for help but I was still “working the problem myself at the same time”. Can a car drive forwards and in reverse at the same time? It will end up in the same place. Who is driving? I put out a lot of personal effort. It was exhausting and stressful. Our mortal skill-sets can also cause health problems because they stress our immune systems. Stay peaceful.
  3. Then, finally, my attention shifted off of myself. Someone needed my help for their own emergency need and I had to put aside my own “desperate emergency need”.  (This may have been God’s merciful intervention longing to distract me from my slow meltdown. Because of that, I needed to find the use of my full Spiritual facilities on behalf of a loved one. Years of spiritual disciplines kicked in and I finally did what I needed to do- for someone other than myself.

So, I put on so plastic gloves and a mask to exit my building safely and got into my car. I realize that this is a fortunate move; that parks and outdoor spaces may, in time not be available to some or all- not even to me in the future.

I drove to a nearby park which was empty and found a bench and sat under a tree facing the same sky that I see from my window. I could hear birds chirping. I could smell spring in the air. I remember last year when I walked in the same park filled with hopes of spring blossoms and many dreams. But this was now. I spotted two women in the distance sitting cross-legged 10 feet apart on the ground by the pond having a quiet conversation. This was now.

The birds did not know that anything was different this year, I thought. The blossoms on the trees were opening with the same consistency. I watched newborns in strollers be swept by with masked caretakers. The resting infants behind bedding nets were innocent. Their peace was undisturbed.

I closed my eyes and prayed with all of my heart and mind. My body and stress finally became limp. I surrendered to the Caretaker of us all who never fails us. The all-of-me left everything here and went before the Altar of Our Lord. In that indescribable sweetness, I asked if I could unburden before His Cross. I confessed all that I was holding, all that I could not possibly carry myself. As I turned it all over, I wept with gentle relief and gratitude.

Matthew 11:28-30 —Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The Comfort of basking in God’s Mercy was renewing and healing. I felt my heart grow light. Prayer continued in a Now that existed in The Lord’s eternity. It was joyful and reassuring. 

When I opened my eyes again to this world, I knew that any kind of isolation only exists when our eyes are focused upon this world. But we have more. We have the eyes of the heart, eyes that are able to See Jesus and connect to the Heart of God. Through these eyes, we can pray, we can be given strength and courage that has never been known to us before- more, we can be shown new paths in challenging times, not because we are clever but because God is there beside each of us.

Later that afternoon, miracles started happening in multiples. I did nothing. I rested. But each unsurmountable problem got solved.  It was like watching blessings arrive at my door.

By evening, I sat with a blurry smile, gazing out of my window, “Lord, your goodness is unmeasurable. I praise you for this day, for yesterday and for tomorrow. Thank you for your mercy and kindness. Thank you that your Love is so near and palpable, so reachable. I love you with all of my heart, mind, and soul. Thank you for the Tangible Good of Your Mercies that never cease to unfold, uphold and amaze our hearts.”

© 2020 Linda Willows

Isaiah 41: 10 —Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Phillippians 4:6-7 —Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 31:6 —Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

“Tomorrow’s New Mercies” from L.Willows (hope, new mercies, faith)

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Today, the love of the Lord was good. His mercy filled my life.

I feel grateful for many moments that caused me to smile and reflect on His love. There were helpful people that came along surprised me with sweetness. And there was also a moment when my sense of security was shaken by some unexpected news.

About an hour before that I almost lost my equilibrium because someone had been ill-tempered with me. It took me by surprise. I recall that I actually ordered my heart to remember that I needed to respond with calm and forgiveness; to witness the space between us alter. It did. I envisioned that Christ loved her through my heart. (I did not have the capacity on my own, my heart was shutting down) It was His mercy. I felt His Love filling my heart at that moment and moving out to hers.

God’s Mercy pursues.

She began to shift. In some moments I noticed that her tone of voice changed and she was almost humming. I enjoyed being with her. I thought to myself that I must have misunderstood her, something might have been going on in her own life beyond what I could understand at the moment that she had been angry. Christ knew her heart. He loved her is just the way she needed to be loved. His mercy found her ‘in the moment’. 

Sometime later as I relaxed and assumed that all was well, the same woman had the task of giving me some unfortunate news. I was so grateful that she was kind. Everyone was extremely kind. I was the one that needed to be flooded with God’s love. I was momentarily shocked and mumbled that I had no answers.

I actually said, “Could God have some time with this?”

They looked at me rather surprised but not really. We were all believers but I don’t think that they realized how much I believed that God is faithful to us.  I realize that we are living out the details of our lives and these were some real-world details. I was the one that would suffer in this situation, just me. So the issue of trusting God and relying on His mercy was on my heart not with the good folks that I was with. I felt that God was also in charge of time and place as well. He may wish to show the answer to this tomorrow.

Now it is the end of the day. I review all that happened. I have no answers but I call to mind that the Lord’s love is constant. If I look back in the past year there were so many times that I faced more difficult moments. I prayed earnestly for His help.

He was always walking with me. He heard every word. I have become convinced that God hears the smallest sighs of our hearts. He even knows when our breath suspends in fear. God is always beside each of us.

At the end of this day, I have no answer but I have hope because I have seen how merciful He is. When I rest, I will know peace because tomorrow the Lord brings new mercies. It can be hard to fathom after some difficult days in difficult times but it is true with God.

His mercies never end. They are new each day just as the fullness of His love for us is. We cannot take from yesterday or borrow from tomorrow.

The bounty of what God gives to is poured from moment to moment, it is born of His blessed Love.

Tomorrow will be merciful because God is.

Tomorrow the Love of the Lord will be good. There may be “moments”, but He is with us. His mercies are new every morning.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
—Lamentations 3:21-23

© 2020 Linda Willows