"I like when you read your stuff to me. You make talky words."
Getting Up--The Nicene Creed is My Reset Button
Aged 44 years
[This letter is a response I wrote to my Bible Study teacher, who asked the class what practices and scripture(s) have helped us to endure the long isolation of the covid-19 pandemic.]
I am a creative introvert by nature, so I spend a lot of time in my imagination, writing stories or making things for people I love. I like to imagine how a person will experience the gift I make for them, and I imagine them living moments of everyday gratitude for simple things, like sunbeams in their kitchen and the love of God burning like a happy campfire in their heart.
But sometimes, after many weeks of contentment, I will very abruptly and with deeply felt sadness register the absence of gatherings in my life.
At those times, the recurring image I have is one of a great sandstorm or blizzard coming over the whole land, and each of us, where we stood in a field waving cheerfully at one another moments before, now pull a sheltering blanket over of our heads and, grim faced, settle into the protection of our fragile dugouts. Some of us are alone, some of us have a small family nestled in with us, but all of us are sober in our awareness of what potential harm the storm brings.
In the vision, though we cannot see one another, I yet feel a keen awareness of your presence nearby.
And that brings me to the scripture that keeps me going when the going gets tough: The Nicene Creed. Here's how it goes for me when the alone-ness hits me in the gut.
"I believe in God the Father, Almighty maker of heaven and earth." I bow my head, and take shelter from the storm beneath the blanket of His sure strength.
"I believe in his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried..." I take a deep breath and confess my fear of the unknown storm to my brother, lord and savior who intimately understands what it means to feel isolation, betrayal, pain, and dread.
I exhale again, remembering that the death of a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of existing (even physically) is not the end but a beginning of a promise fulfilled. "...and on the third day he arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty."
Momentarily, I feel hope at Christ's triumph. He arose from the dead. That miserable ending was not the end, it was a passageway to the part where he arose.
As I worry about what comes next after this plague, after this aloneness, I take another long, slow breath and then exhale. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I make sounds, sort of like singing, to release the tension that has accumulated in my throat and chest from keeping a brave face on for my kids and my family. Some might call it "non-accidental wailing," but I like to think it's my beautiful surrender song. 😁
"...From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." At this point I wonder, rather meditatively, what is quickness, and how much of what we consider "normal life" is actually "being dead," spiritually?
"I believe in the Holy Spirit," the fire in my heart brightens with this phrase.
"The holy everybody church," is how my mind pronounces catholic with a lower-case C.
"The communion of saints," which means thee and me--we're always hanging out with the angels and with each other, all the time when we're hanging out with God in the fire of our hearts!
"...the forgiveness of sins," and I make sure to let some stuff go right about now.
"the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, Amen."
At this last, I take time to envision what it would really look like? What would it feel like and live like if the body of Christ, all of us, got up as Christ?
What if we let anxiety and inward facing concerns wash away like tears in the sea of His love, and rose up like an ocean of love in service to the people in and around Lockhart--who could use some loving affirmation and a helping hand? I just wonder, sometimes, if maybe we could take part in our own resurrection, if that, along with faith and communion and all the rest might be an intrinsic part, you know?
Is getting up when everything has fallen apart and looks totally bleak an intrinsic part of life everlasting in Jesus?
Finally, with my "Amen" I pledge my heart, mind and service to let this whole meditation / prayer / vision become so.
Now, this whole prayer looks like me just turning off the news or Facebook, getting out of my chair or my bed and stretching my back, rolling my neck until it gives a little pop, and maybe doing a little side bend or side twist to loosen up. But, on the inside, the Creed helps me reset. It helps me stay grounded in my deeper purposes. It reaffirms my security in my community of sisters and brothers (that's you! the saints), even when we can't see one another on account of staying hunkered down in our individual dugouts.
At least our dugouts have the internet!
That Spanish flu pandemic of 1918? Man, that was lonesome. Research that one if your grandmother didn't tell you something about it. And then call, text, or write (or video chat) a friend or family member to tell them how much you love them, how you like to imagine them making something beautiful or smiling at the clouds, and then tell them some of the beauty in your heart.
Remember always, God blesses you every day.
(c) Megan Creel January 24, 2021
George Floyd, Black Lives, and Laser Vision:
My (ongoing) Identity Crisis
Aged 44 years
Love is Like Breathing
Aged 41 years
"Hello, my name is Strong Light."
Aged 35 years
(c) Megan Creel, August 15, 2011
Honesty and Growth (A Rant)
Aged 34 years
Loving versus Living
Aged 34 years
Why would I counterpose Loving and Living, as if they are in contest one with the other? Isn't Romance all about "living with love", or being in love for the rest of one's life, or some other such thing?
To tell the story of how two people LIVE through possibly crushing situations, with all the unpredictable variety and outcomes of others' choices, and who yet find within themselves the personal strength to engage in the ultimate act of personal confidence and belief--to LOVE, also--not only thrills, but enriches reader and writer alike.
Who Am I Talking To? Who Is My Audience?
Aged 34 years
(c) Megan Creel December 16, 2010