Dear Friends ~ Years ago, a friend made us a gift, a calligraphed beginning of a prayer attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Jardin: "Above all, trust in the slow work of God." From a central spot in our dining room, these words reached out to me often while raising a large family and working with kids. The prayer calls to me now as the heat of July and August arrives on the tails of righteous anger, fires of social unrest, and the terrible toll and world-wide anxiety surrounding Covid-19. What can we parents, grandparents, educators, pastors, ordinary humans do for our world's children?
"I encourage you to spend as much time with your family as your time allows, whether it's dancing, playing, walking, cooking, cleaning, being silly, or just hanging out. This can be a scary time for kids, and nothing will help ease their fears and encourage their cognitive and social development like spending time with you." ...This same teacher is also emailing us [parents] a daily photo of a bird to identify...and sharing out-of-the-box ideas for the students' unit this month on an appropriate topic: survival...but the words above are the words I will treasure as a parent for a long time. They will remind me to take a break from refreshing the updated coronavirus map, checking my school email, and cursing Amazon's multitude of out-of-stock items.
Instead, I'll look my 12-year-old daughter in the eyes and ask, "How you doing, Baby Goose?" I'll accept my son's challenge to a muddy soccer game in the backyard. I'll take him by the hand and walk up our mountain one more time, grateful that during a crisis when all we have is each other, "each other" is exactly what we all need.
Or if I'm already living
Then I am not free for
the moment of the eternal now
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you. Your ideas mature gradually – let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.