What is saving your life right now?
Many years ago now, a wise old priest invited me to come speak at his church in Alabama. “What do you want me to talk about?” I asked.
"Come tell us what is saving your life right now,” he answered.
It was as if he had swept his arm across a dusty table and brushed all the formal china to the ground.
I did not have to try to say correct things that were true for everyone. I did not have to use theological language that conformed to the historical teachings of the church. All I had to do was figure out what my life depended on. All I had to do was figure out how I stayed as close to that reality as I could.”
From An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor.
It is the year of our Lord 2020 DCT (During Corona Times), consider the formal china swept to the floor - because if you can’t mess up your fancy table setting DCT when can you?
What is saving your life right now? (other than staying at home, obvs)
Saving my life right now is: Sunlight. Taking photos of beautiful things on the Boris sanctioned daily exercise of lunchtime walks. Exercising wonder. Reminding myself this is just for a season.
Abandoning all notions of being a part-time vegetarian – turns out, in times of global crisis, all I want is comfort food. Turns out, lentils are not comfort food and so, when the going gets tough, the tough eat burgers.
Psalms that lament. Psalms that praise. Psalms that start with lament and turn to praise. The clocks going forward meaning we had one less hour of this to deal with. Yoga. Cleaning everything in sight. Updates on the latest Isolationships. This painting:
Good music - praise be for the Quarantunes playlist - turning it up 11 and dancing for joy. Friends sending daily encouragement. Knowing God is present and at work even if it doesn’t feel like it. Online workouts with the gym crew. Not checking the news more than twice a day. Phonecalls with my people. Zoom calls with my people. Memes that perfectly capture life as we now know it DCT:
The Calendar of Thanks:
Virtual church – much love and socially distanced hugs to all my Grace and Streatham loves. Hope that this season will pass and we will live in the glorious future of life ACT (After Corona Times). The internet. Finding the flow of new routines and creating some order within chaos:
Knowing that, whilst they might not be the biggest issues right now, its ok to grieve the loss of: being with my people, routine, structure, any semblance of certainty, seeing horizons, the hustle and bustle of London, being angry with tourists reach the barriers before looking for their oyster cards, Easter weekend food.
Keeping track of every time a neighbour leaves their house so we can let the police know if they're not sticking to lockdown laws - we sit by the front window 8 hours a day, we see everything (shout out to No 243 who did a great job cleaning their windows on Friday).
"As surely as the sun rises, as surely as it sets, we anticpate your goodness, we anticpate the rest." Interlude - Torwalt
Knowing I have enough leave-in conditioner to last a couple of months (if black women ran the goverment you know for sure black hair shops would be in the essential business category). I may or may not have stockpiled.
Frequent phonecalls with my mum and sister – BCT (Before Corona Times) I called my mother on Sunday afternoons and my sister every few weeks. Now I talk to them most days. I don’t know why. None of us have anything interesting to say – we’ve all been sat at home.
Being extra. Yes, I put on my fancy Going Out clothes, spent the morning straightening my hair and putting on a full face of makeup just to sit in the house and order in brunch. Yes, on Wednesdays we wear pink and Fridays we wear formal business attire to the new office at home. And yes, I was the only one wearing a cocktail dress and fancy earrings for Friday Night Wine Zoom. Being extra is in my DNA and I make no apologies.
Contemplative prayer and the Lectio365 App. Eating a Malteaser everytime someone on TV says unprecedented (am rapidly running out of Malteasers - please send supplies).
God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Every morning I ask for the grace for the day and every day it is given. Break the bread. Pour the wine. Give thanks.
What is saving your life right now?