Strength and comfort for another week in quarantine

Friends, here in New York City we are on Week 9, with no end in sight. On the other hand, the maple tree outside my kitchen window is now in full leaf, and I was able to order in two healthy houseplants, since we are on the second floor without garden access, which is a cheery thing.

Virtual visits have been life-giving. Every Saturday we have video chats with my mother, who lives across the country from us. We might have had video chats with her before quarantine, but now she’s actually home and has time for an hour-long call and no time to be self-conscious about the camera. We spend much of it laughing.

This week, we also had virtual dinner church, which was food for my soul. What is dinner church? Funny you should ask. My friend Emily’s book telling the story of her dinner church (and mine) comes out on Tuesday. It will feed you, too.

My friend Daneen is hosting a weekly online story time highlighting Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints from her wonderful book of the same title. This week, in honor of Ramadan, she features the Persian poet Rumi, whose words really resonate in this present moment, even though he lived 800 years ago. My favorite poem of Rumi’s is called “The Guest House” and it’s also perfect for right now.

Another friend, Ana, shared reassuring words from Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well” with this promise from Indian novelist Arundhati Roy: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing” in this lovely song. In fact, you should get the whole album. It was Julian’s feast day last Friday, and my friend Bob wrote a reflection on her words that give me hope.

Green and growing things, connecting with family and friends, good words, and good music—that’s what I wish for you.

Wendy Claire Barrie is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents.

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