Advent Devotional – Friday, December 4

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Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay
Week 1 – December 4 – Surviving the Pandemic

Reflector: Rosalee Blake

I entered the pandemic shutdown already in the midst of change. I had just retired March 1, 2020, when the news about the spread of Covid-19 was becoming ominous and frightening. At a time when I had hoped to be reflecting on the “next chapter,” the world and I had a more pressing concern on which to focus.

I felt especially isolated living by myself during the pandemic. And without work, I had little face-to-face human interaction as the shutdown began. At times, I felt envious of those who were “coupled,” as they had automatic human contact in their homes.

I’ve always been grateful that my 7-year-old Vizsla dog, Hazelnut, gets me outside, for the sights and smells, and for the unexpected blessings of Cooper’s hawks, and great-horned owls that live in the trees next to me. Hazelnut enables me to notice nature and the world around me.

I’ve been even more grateful during the months of being alone to have Hazelnut. Several of my neighbors are also single and have dogs, and when we met up on dog walks, we acknowledged how challenging it was to live alone. It was a blessing to be able to share our pandemic stories with one another. These friends and their dogs became my lifeline. A few in my close neighborhood had puppies, so that was a special delight to have moments of puppy love.

Dog walks, video calls, zoom meetings, outdoor meetings and meals with a friend, all highlighted the preciousness of human connection. I developed a heightened awareness outdoors that encouraged me to appreciate the world around me even more.

Prayer: Empowering God, we pray that your Spirit fills us with enough Grace to accept the changing world, and to guide us into the future with confidence. Heighten our awareness of your Presence among and within us. May all your creatures, great and small, plant and animal, slow us down to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the wonder of your creation. May we human creatures grow in faith as we face change, not alone, but together in community with one another. May we ceaselessly offer gratitude for our blessings. In Christ, Amen.