My recent walks in my neighborhood have revealed some beautiful flowers that have bloomed in various yards. The yellows, the whites, the purples and lavenders are so eye-captivating. It appears that some of my neighbors are very careful and methodical gardeners. I am confident that as the summer arrives, even more loveliness will grace the nearby flowerbeds. I wonder if the gardeners ever come outside with their scissors and cut off lovely bouquets to bring inside their houses to adorn their tables and please their eyes.
In the gardens of our interior lives, I wonder what has grown and blossomed during the pandemic. As the tenders of our own personal spiritual gardens, let us consider what might be desirable blossoms and what we might have to weed out.
I suggest it was very easy to plant seeds of doubt, anxiety, uncertainty, and worry over these past months. Every day came with news of high numbers of cases of the virus, suggestions of how and what to sanitize, and reports of measures we might take to fend off the nasty virus that even has nastier variants. We could easily feed our interior gardens with sprinkles of doubt, impatience, anger, and resentment.
Now it appears that, because of the vaccine distribution, the virus’s hold on us may be waning. Let’s inspect our gardens and see what we can weed out and what blossoms we can gather and perhaps bring closer to us to savor and enjoy.
The good flowers might include the more sustained closeness to our children or other family members. Without a doubt, that closeness could have been challenging; but it could also have lasting positive effects if we have tapped into our talents and theirs or have learned more about each other’s attributes and good possibilities. Blessings in disguise?
The sanitizing flower may have pushed us and our contacts to clean and sanitize a bit better than was habitual. How can that be bad? It has been shown that habits of cleanliness have prevented the spread of illness.
When it was necessary to go into stores, we saw that the stores were not very crowded, especially if we went early. Getting errands done early, when possible, can be a good momentum-building start to the day. Good job, momentum flower!
The dressing-for-staying-home flower can allow us to be very comfortable. We might have even gone right into personal prayer time with not having to be concerned with business-dress.
Some of us did not spend the usual amount of money on gasoline, because we did not travel so much over the past 14 months. We did not go to restaurants often or go binge-shopping. We watched movies at home.
So if we put together a bouquet of the good pandemic flowers: closeness-to-family, habits of cleanliness, productive momentum, dressing-for-staying-home, money-saving, and easy opportunities for prayer, and we keep the bouquet watered with thanksgiving to our loving Father for getting us through it all, we have been good gardeners. Let us pray for good spiritual and physical health for all of us! And let us give thanks for all the blessings God gives us every day!
Photograph: Aljoscha Laschgari on UnSplash
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.