My previous reflection bemoaned the sky conditions that plagued my home state of Wisconsin. Two posts ago, it was high levels of humidity and fog. Last post, those conditions were greeted with wildfire smoke. After a day of torrential downpours and a tornado, the skies are now clear again in my home state! I went back to the same place I took the images from my previous post to see just how much the sky conditions improved. In short – A LOT!
Not only am I pleased with these images, but it was nice being able to breathe normally again as I captured them. Its amazing how clean air is something we take so for granted. Not only does it allow us to see the wonders of our universe, but it also makes us feel physically healthy and, by extension, helps our emotional and spiritual health. When we can think, see, breathe, and pray with clarity, truth can be achieved. When our eyes, minds, lungs, and thoughts are clouded, even the simplest of decisions can feel like monumental challenges. I thank God for the beautiful weather we’ve had that past few day!
Clarity of sight, mind, heart, and spirit. Gifts we take for granted, but gifts we need now more than ever!
Last week, I hit the “Covid-19 Wall.” For those who may not be familiar with this American colloquialism, it basically communicates that I don’t want to deal with Covid-19 anymore. Nevertheless, as someone who is not only the Pastor of a parish, but also have the role of making decisions for a geographical area of our Diocese, I must make decisions that uphold human dignity on all fronts. I was emotionally tired and didn’t want to hear about mitigation practices, trending numbers, and the continuous grind that Covid-19 has put all of us through. In many ways, not only were the skies overhead murky, so were the skies of my heart.
At the same time, just as nature has a resiliency to quickly transition from troubling conditions to beautiful conditions, so, too, have I rediscovered my resolve. With the school year approaching for students and religious education for our parishioners, I need to find clarity on how to protect people’s spiritual health and physical health. Its a tension we all face and I’m trying to take the lessons we’ve learned and apply them to this new surge. The challenging part of this longing for clarity is that answers are difficult to find and certitude on the best path is not always possible. All I know is that, by God’s grace, my resolve has been restored. Grace is funny that way – You often know when Grace is real when it truly comes as an unmerited gift at a time you would never expect.
Spiritual Exercise: Is your sight, mind, heart, and spirit seeing clearly these days or do you find yourself in a spiritual fog? Wherever you are at on this spectrum, ask God’s grace to give you deeper clarity. We need clear vision in the days ahead. And if you feel like you are hitting the Covid-19 wall, get out for a walk, enjoy the wonders of creation, pray, and discover peace of mind and heart again. Allow the cloudiness we can feel spiritually subside under the blue skies of God’s grace.
Clear Skies and Clear Heart everyone!