— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Day 3 of Corona:
The last three days were in a feverish daze, getting up for restroom or getting something to drink, everything seems endlessly exhausting and only a brief intermezzo to dozing off again into lots of dreams.
I remember my first round of SARS CoV2 infection more than two years ago. There was so much more uncertainty, the pictures of the Chinese brave ophthalmologist who had reported as one of the first of the new disease and later died of it himself despite being a young man, left a rather worrisome feeling deep inside. My symptoms fit perfectly, first a bit of a cold and then after one week fever and shortness of breath. Two negative PCR tests could not completely relieve the fear that I had acquired something potentially deadly. Fortunately, I came through rather well and found out only two months afterwards that I had COVID19 because I had made antibodies against the virus. Since then all of us have gone through a long and still ongoing stretch of social, psychological and partly even physical stress. Acquiring COVID19 this time was totally different. We know so much more about it, have the first drugs to treat it to some extent, vaccination is available although not the advertised breakthrough, at least mitigating the course of the disease and lately it seemed COVID19 had turned into a common cold. Life has turned from big drama into ongoing drama. I realize this change requires completely different skills to deal with.
Day 4 of Corona:
Already a day and lots of dozing later. It is truly frustrating to see how much this infection shortened my attention span.
In the last months talking about Corona became an annoying discussion about the fourth vaccine, if you had received the regular shots and your first boost, or wearing masks yes or no and less about life threatening IF you don’t belong to the vulnerable. I observed that it became more annoying because SARS CoV2 is still there; still no signs of final victory, and no hope that this will change quickly; on the contrary with the arrival of a new variant – readily associated with a foreign country as if they were to blame – scientifically called Omikron BA.5, numbers even going up despite summer and therefore disturbing our travel plans, our freedom to move, to meet, to party; and finally COVID has not remained the only nuisance, since then the war Russia imposed on Ukraine has changed our daily life and even more so how we feel about it.
Later on the same day:
Our day was a bit better, less ache, less coughing, less stuffed airways allowed a bit longer thoughts to develop and be put to paper. Sitting today in our garden, yes I belong to the privileged group of people who can stay in isolation but are not confined to inside, I noticed how much our hedge separated us from life going on as usual around us not even aware of the confinement we were under. We know that our is definitely ending after 15 days latest but how must people feel who live lonely lives and the life around them just passes too fast for them to touch? We noticed how beautifully the “Love your Neighbour” initiative coming out of Holy Trinity Brompton (https://www.loveyourneighbour.uk) has reached into the homes of many when they were most isolated during the first height of the pandemic. Much less is heard about it now, because one problem moves the other down the headlines. Are we ready to continue working on this task also when it is just ongoing and ongoing? (if you have a chance to visit the website, it is impressive and inspiring how it has developed into a permanent activity as we are always surrounded by neighbours in need. Please remember also your food donation to the Tafel.)
Day 5 of Corona:
I am not naturally good with ongoing problems, especially not when I feel foggy-headed for days and feel time passing and the worry of all the tasks scheduled accumulating and not being addressed. I feel restless, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the incompatibility of my resources and my perceived pile of unfinished tasks.
I was already overwhelmed by my schedule beforehand and this high powered life sustains me only for a certain while before it completely drains my batteries. Sickness had put my life to a forced halt beforehand. You cannot run all life as a sprinter. I remember as a small boy taking a deep breath and seeing how far I could swim, 25m no problem but already turning around the second 25m became a huge challenge. Life is longer than 50m. We just can’t take a deep breath and get through all the challenges or live from one end of the pool to the next, some of these stretches are too long or like in times like this, there seems no end of pool in sight and even the second pool of war and energy crisis drains our stamina at the same time.
So, where can we fill our batteries in time of COVID19 and beyond?
There is no perpetuum mobile. Even the most successful times will deplete your batteries. There is no way around a time of rest, forced or better planned and voluntary. Even in this time my mind went busily all over before it was slowly able to rest for moments, like the butterfly in our garden settling on this or that blossom. Silence and listening might feel stressful to start when coming out of busy noisy days but were blessings in my past days. Hearing Tim Keller’s podcast on “Identity” and “Hope” when one of our loved ones struggles with exactly these issues were such blossoms of recharging, reading Anthony Doerr´s book “All the light you cannot see” while the pictures of the war in Ukraine fill our daily news revived in me my empathy for humans despite the atrocities and filled me with compassion to step up for peace and justice all covered by my daily busy live. And most importantly my conversation to the person closest to me, my wife, my fellow-prisoner in COVID19. Although not always alert or energetic at the same time, I realize how much more quality time I need with her.
Thank you Lord for these challenging days,
throwing me off my frenzy run into a halt.
Thank you that we are recovering.
Thank you for the rest I slowly can accept.
Thank you for reconnecting with me.
Thank you for being my God.
Bless us, as we are still restless
and let us experience your peace.
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.