This reflection is a part of a month-long series titled, 30 Days of Healing, as we seek to be instruments of peace and change.
It has been a tough few weeks. Months of social distancing, constant anxiety and stress, and more than a few sleepless nights, it finally caught up with me.
I had one of those stretches where my vulnerability and self-doubt dominated and I was hurting and stuck.
With the support of family and friends, great spiritual teachers, exhausting yet fulfilling reflection, and the amazing grace from God, I finally gained some insight this afternoon that served as a true gift for a tired soul.
I realized that as I was looking to the past and questioning if some straight paths should have taken risky turns, I was also looking forward with a relentless fear of what could happen.
My prayer brought me to those closest to me. By focusing on my family, I could not regret the past as it all led to them.
As for the anxiety and worry, I revisited the past few months. For example, I thought of all the fear that filled my heart as my wife prepared to give birth without me by her side to my daughter and then I looked into my 6-week old’s eyes and I thought, “God is good, always.”
While these insights do not necessarily calm my current fears, especially as I see so many family, friends and strangers exchanging their masks for much needed hugs and al fresco dining, I redirect my attention to the present and I am reminded to surrender control.
This month as we focus on healing, the challenge to change perspective continues to return in my prayer. With this in mind, I found gratitude for the gift of my daughters and wife.
When will I ever have this much time together with them?
When we welcome back normalcy, including the missing of school bells to long hours at work, I will look back at these days, and I will thank God.
Not only for our health, which I pray continues, but for the time to share with my girls- from three daily meals around the table, to being teacher, chef, handy man, and dance partner, I should fall to my knees with gratitude to God.
I will be grateful for the gift of work and the ability to create and minister, even from a distance.
I will smile at the photos that did not capture the tears but only the smiles. My heart will be full and will yearn for those days together.
I pray I will also look back at this time, not just as a personal rebirth, but as a new creation for our society-one that is just and kind.
This month of healing started as our nation called for racial equality, recognizing the personal hurt that so many do give attention, only leading to more pain and abuse.
As our streets burned, countless marched, and even more yearned for change, the pandemic still crept its ugly head as almost half million died globally. Healing deserved more attention as it was and is so necessary.
While I knew that I needed to heal some of my wounds, I could never have imagined how much hurt and healing this month would personally bring.
I pray that in the spirit of St Francis and St Ignatius, this time in isolation, dealing with vulnerabilities and wounds, I can emerge spiritually stronger and kinder, more patient, simple and empathetic, and more present to the gifts before me.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Please continue to pray for me as I will for you.