Most days you could find her sitting comfortably in her chair in front of the big window. Her rhythm was praying, reading, napping – all interspersed with long gazes out her window. This was her crow’s nest on the world. Besides intermittent connections with her caregivers, this window was her only connection to the world once COVID locked down her long term care facility.
Yet more than just a piece of glass she looked through, it was her sanctuary serving as an icon, a portal through which she viewed and experienced the Holy. She loved to look at the clouds in the sky, to witness the changing of the seasons, the creatures that would sing and frolic, and most importantly the daily visit of family.
The family never shared with her when they would appear at her window with concern she would spend her entire time in a state waiting. But there was a clear schedule when different family members, regardless of the weather were expected to be at her window. And the icing on the cake was that her rather large network of friends from her work, her neighborhood and her Church would appear at her window.
She had very little interest in watching anything on her television besides sports. As such she have very little knowledge of either the impact of the virus or if any progress was being made to mitigate its spread. And then one day, one that felt much like the days before it, there was a knock at the door. It startled her as her caregivers just walked right in. Perplexed she tentatively responded, “Please come in.” Just as soon as those words rolled out of her mouth her three grown children and their spouses all came walking into her room. “Surprise!” they all shouted. Completely confused by the entire situation, she responded, “How did you get in here?”
Gently they explained that they had all been fully vaccinated, including her, and that it was now safe for them to come and visit her indoors. “Well what about me?” she inquired. “Do you remember getting a couple of shots over the last number of weeks?” they asked. “Of course I do – but it seems they’re always giving me some sort of medication here.” And then without missing a beat she continued, “Does that mean you can take me to get good ice cream?!”
The proverbial challenge when we are in an unstable situation is to not be consumed by it. Our natural tendency is to become completely myopic. In the words of every prophet and the Way of Jesus, there is the invitation to look to the horizon. Dream fresh dreams, imagine a new reality, begin to make beginnings – this is the path that will lead not only to a new perspective on the world, but more importantly to new life.
New Hope – New Life – Happy Easter!