I haven’t posted anything in a while – not even on IG or Twitter. It has taken some time for me to gather my thoughts and feelings, and then to transform them into meaningful words. The world will face much in coming weeks… even months. It seems that we are in unprecedented times, at least in these generations. Quite frankly, it is a bit unnerving. Lack of control, fighting invisible forces, having to depend on the global community to respond appropriately to the current climate of disease and economic challenge, educational barriers, social distancing that eliminates our physical care for one another… these all point to an ever- changing world in which we must evolve to survive. Sometimes it feels like the end is near (and I am in no way an apocalyptic person, at least not in the “Left Behind” sense of the word).

Yet, in what feels like darkness, glimmers of hope exist. And for someone like me who battles depression and anxiety, is a highly sensitive person (which I’ve just learned), who teeters on the line between introvert and extrovert (ambivert), who needs hugs, who needs to be able to see my therapist regularly, who has a history of fighting feelings of loneliness, isolation and suicidality, it is essential to keep hope alive. In these times, I’ve got to be intentional about finding and sharing the lights of hope. I focus on the music being shared from the balconies of Italy. I laugh at people’s twisted (sometimes dark) humor about missing toilet tissue, pets driving for supplies since they can’t get COVID-19, and how the introvert’s time has come. I’m sharing social media posts from teachers offering assistance to parents struggling to homeschool, and museums offering free virtual tours for kids. I celebrate the medical professionals boldly going in everyday to help those who are sick. I honor faith leaders who, more than ever before, have upheld the sacred and professional duty to provide spiritual direction and pastoral care, even in nontraditional ways. Hats off to all of you.

We have been given a diamond in the rough – opportunity to be still, to really connect with others even with social distancing, to REST because we are limited in what we can do, to look with our third eyes, and to hear with our hearts. We have time to learn who we are and who God is more deeply, to build more meaningful relationships with others and the Other. I thank God for these reminders, however small they may seem, that what She created is good.

These are troubling times. However, these troubles reveal that there is beauty and resilience in the human race… that there is still beauty in the world. May you and your loved ones be kept in peace, health, and love in the days ahead. And for those who have experienced any loss in this time of crisis, my thoughts and prayers are with you.