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Social Distancing With Grace

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The Coronavirus or #COVID19  is highly contagious, spreading death, disease, and fear all over the world.  For all of us in some way, it has caused outright panic with grocery stores running out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and food stables.  There have been widespread cancellations, economic setbacks, extensive handwashing, and handwringing.  No movies, no concerts, and no parties.

Social distancing is the new normal.  Right now, we are all in our corners, waiting to see how things “shake out.”  Fear is trying to rule, but we are all looking for positive, peaceful ways to cope and to connect.  Prayer, meditation, and the emergence of spring have helped.

I am following the example of Grace, the tabby cat, I inherited from CCL.  She is content to do her morning meditation in my back yard.  She also joins me when I am seated on the living room sofa – “her spot.”

My church holds daily prayer calls, many religious institutions and fitness centers have moved to online support, and  Zoom “happy hours” are being held on a regular basis.

In my Brookland, Northeast Washington, DC  neighborhood, we are, as in most of the nation and the world,  practicing “social distancing,”  but folks on my block join in a daily “Dance Party” party.  One neighbor uses his Bluetooth speaker on his porch to blast music while and we all dance either on our porches or up and down the sidewalk of our street.  Today he played several songs from “Frozen” for the children and some Disco jams for the adults.

There is also the wonderful DJ D-Nice, who holds a daily jam on Instagram (@dnice).  The party has a strong celebrity presence, including Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Oprah, J-Lo, Lionel Richie,  Quincy Jones, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Demi Lovato, actor Donny Wahlberg, and Chuck D.

Music is a universal healer.

 

Grace the cat gets her groove on with DJ D-Nice too!

 

 

 

The Value of Rest

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It’s estimated that domestic cats spend 15 hours a day sleeping.  Their physiology demands that they sleep to recover from activity.

Reverend  Dr. Howard John Wesley, the pastor of one of the Washington DC’s area’s largest churches, Alfred Street Baptist Church, is on sabbatical until Easter. The church calls it a season of #selah, the Hebrew word for “break” or “rest.”  There have been some who questioned the pastor’s decision,  announced late last year.   However,  I  understand the wisdom of Reverend  John Wesley’s choice.  Rest is the foundation for everything else and provides the seeds for spiritual renewal.  Following rest, we can come back better than before.   Modeling the pastor’s decision, I have drawn inspiration and peace from taking time to rest.

 

 

 

It’s a New Era – One Day At A Time

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So here we are – 14 days (or 15 days depending on your time zone) into a new decade.   Often we use the event of a new year to make change.   At the start of 2020, many of us started work on our resolutions to do better, be better or at least seem better.    Maybe we wanted to lose a few pounds or change jobs or adjust our attitudes.  Those resolutions – promises to ourselves and to the world – are for some us already broken but we are just fine.  God loves us, just as we are and we can begin again tomorrow. One Day At A Time, life gives us fresh options.

Christmastime is Here

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Grace loves her time under the Christmas tree.

Shiny Objects

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Cats, as a rule, prefer shiny objects and toys. Usually, they will play for several minutes with a laser toy and just as suddenly lose interest or move on to a more life-enhancing activity such as watching birds, napping, or eating.  It is not a lack of commitment. They seem to understand that the artificial or fake toy they are engaged with is just that – a toy

For instance, Grace, the Tabby cat, likes to play with her laser toy but prefers a brightly colored knit fish on a stick.  She will allow me to play with her with the device but only for a short time.

Humans too, are drawn to shiny objects as well as flashy people. Sometimes we guess or are made aware of the negative impact of our shallow decisions.

Sometimes life accidents will lead us to see our destructive connections to cheap but useless objects or people with no soul or purpose. Far too often, we are taken in. We may even know it’s a gimmick or a toy, or the person is a con, but we remain entertained or are afraid of change, so we hang on.

It is painful work to rid ourselves of things and people who do not add value and drain our resources.  Still, we must stop playing with shiny objects to grow and to give.

Grace’s Fish on A Hook