It Will Be Alright

Several years ago, I downloaded and read A Journal of The Plague Year by Daniel Defoe. Defoe wrote a fictionalized account based on his early childhood memories of the plague that swept London in 1665, claiming over 67,000 lives. It was a memorable read. I never expected to write, or contemplate, even facetiously, about a plague in modern times.

Of course, our plague year cannot compare, even in a joking manner, to the Black Death. Mainly, it’s just quiet around here as the schools and most businesses are closed. The nearby city of New Orleans is emerging as the epicenter of the Louisiana outbreak. It seems like Mardi Gras was our undoing, causing the city and surrounding parishes to give rise to a troubling number of afflicted residents. Currently the state has over 1,700 reported cases and 65 dead. In the city of New Orleans, 827 cases are reported, and thirty-seven have died from the virus.

I’m introverted by nature, so solitude hasn’t been a hardship although I haven’t taken the warnings to stay home that seriously anyway. I find reasons daily to get out and about, whether it be to our local small market, the drugstore, or the post office in my small town. While I am not hoarding food or supplies, I do tend to buy stuff almost every time I venture out. My cupboards are overflowing with soup cans, pasta and lots of dairy creamer among other things.

Last night, I participated in a Zoom telecast with a group, Seeds and Souls, for an Ignatian Meditation. The idea is to listen as a moderator reads a passage of Scripture repeatedly and slowly. After the readings with pauses to reflect, participants reflect on what stood out from the reading.

Last night, the leader, Brian, chose verses from Matthew 6. The theme was not to worry about tomorrow. What stood out to me as he read from the Message translation of the Bible was the phrase, “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax.” In my mind, I pictured Jesus gently chiding me and offering me the chance to relax. I don’t need any more soup cans, nor do I need to worry about getting paper towels. I am worried, you see, about paper towels as I only have one extra roll in reserve. The local market doesn’t have any in stock. Neither does Walmart or Costco, at least according to their online sites.

Where will I get paper towels? I don’t know. When the time comes the store may have some or not have some. I can always clean spills with a towel I suppose if none are available. Funny thing is, I don’t use paper towels very often. That’s why I have only one extra roll in the house. I prefer to mop up spills with rags or a mop. So why worry about it? As Jesus’ words say in the extraordinary Message translation by Eugene Peterson, “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax.”

Early this morning, after my 5:30 am coffee and 6:00 prayer service online, I took Daisy, my foster dog, for a walk. We took it slow, as she is recovering from a hip injury. I gave her ample time to put her nose to weeds and flowers growing along the ditches that line our streets. I gave myself time to notice the beauty of the wildflowers, some white, some yellow, and some a beautiful shade of lavender.

In the same batch of verses that Brian read repeatedly last night, he said, “walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp nor shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? . . . If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers . . . don’t you think he’ll attend to you . . . do his best for you?” 

I am going to do my best to avoid looking for paper towels today.

4 thoughts on “It Will Be Alright

  1. I find that just reading your blog relaxes me and puts me in a better—calmer—frame of mind.

    A couple of questions: What is the Message Bible and Ignatian meditation? Is that a particular translation of the Bible? Thanks.

    Say hello to Daisy. Although she’s not much for talking, I’m sure in her mind and heart, she appreciates what you are doing for her. It definitely is a plus in your karma accoung.

    al

    Like

  2. The Message Bible is a contemporary translation of the Bible. It’s a paraphrase rather than word by word literal translation. The author is Eugene Peterson. You can find it at Bible Gateway online. Search the translations for the Message, then choose any verse you’d like to read.

    Ignatian meditation is a way to prayerfully read Scripture. Here’s a link https://www.luther.edu/grace-institute/assets/Ignatian_Contemplation__Imaginative_Prayer.pdf.

    Like

  3. Wowzer! That’s sort of a high Kung Flu count you’ve got there. In all of Mexico we have only 475 confirmed cases as of yesterday, and only six people have died.

    Wash your hands a lot, and don’t get to close to strangers. That’s pretty much my routine. I recommend it to you. Best to you and Daisy.

    Like

  4. Those numbers changed since I wrote this post. Today’s numbers were posted at 12 noon. 2,305 cases and 83 dead. We’re a hot spot in the US. Orleans Parish has highest per-capita coronavirus death rate of American counties — by far. Not a comforting statistic. Well, enough bad news. Off to water a few new plants in the garden, and then, a short stroll with Daisy.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s