By: Gabriela Yareliz
It has been a rollercoaster of a month. It was warm on some days and bitterly cold on others. We did our Adele series. There is war. Apparently, Putin eliminated the pandemic by invading Ukraine (thanks, Putin?). Inflation was through the roof even prior to the Ukraine-Russia conflict (thanks, Biden?). There is change in the air. We are on the fast track toward Easter.
I am sharing here the things that had me thinking this month:
Our most read post was We Start at Nothing, where we discuss being well-rested and joy. (Honorable mention to (Friend) Speech).
“He (Jesus) continuously inspired them (His followers) to dream great dreams and challenged them to trust God to do unimaginable things through them. He seemed determined to teach them that if they would commit themselves to the care of humanity, they would discover the endless reservoir of God the Great Provider.” Uprising, Erwin McManus
Every morning this month, in my prayers and journaling, I continued to remind myself that God is my great provider. Heaven has my back. There is nothing He can’t do.
“If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Is there ever a moment when I don’t have spring on the mind? When winter’s harshness settles in, I start daydreaming of flower crowns and sun showers. In my almanac, it caught my attention that Chinese New Year is often thought of as a spring festival. Seems like I am not the only one who starts daydreaming in the cold months.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again,’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” G.K. Chesterton
And then, there is the aspect of miracles. I am currently reading Miracles by Eric Metaxas. There is so much precision in nature, that if we only paid attention slightly and were more mindful of it in the day-to-day, we would know God is ever watchful and present.
“Anything that destroys empathy steers us away from humanity.” Aaron McManus, Battle Ready
“They are like, ‘I stand with Ukraine.’ And it’s like, ‘Do you stand with Ukraine? Because you didn’t stand with the kids in your own city. You didn’t stand with your own fellow Americans. You didn’t stand with Canada. You haven’t really stood for much, any time.'” Bobby Sausalito
There has been a lot of talk about how we can reconcile the rifts created during the pandemic. The Ukraine crisis has brought to the world stage yet another crisis people feel the need to take a side on. (And I don’t minimize the terrible suffering happening. It’s heartbreaking).
I heard Dr. Phil the other day (clip from the TSC Him/Her Podcast) discussing our pandemic response, and how it’s possible these two years of failed policy and stupidity will give us two decades worth of trauma to manage. I do hope for reconciliation and peace, but I am exhausted by people just being like ‘Sorry’ and onto the next drama. Real people’s lives have been affected. Real businesses and homes destroyed; real countries destroyed; real health destroyed; real families and friendships destroyed; real jobs and careers destroyed; real economic futures destroyed; real faith destroyed. I wish we could stop waiting until after terrible things happen to come together.
Why can’t we stand for each other when it matters– in the middle of the storm? Half of the world’s trauma was avoidable had we had enough empathy, understanding and courage to fight for one another. And many did, but I can tell you that the majority didn’t. Here in NYC, those who were standing their ground and fighting back fought a losing battle against a rabid majority (even with restrictions lifting, they still hate us). That is why we are here. We have failed as a nation, as a globe and more disappointingly, as a church. We failed. And I pray we can evaluate how we can prevent rather than apologize after the fact. It gets old. How can we gain courage instead of hiding until the skies are blue?
NYC from the eyes of a Spaniard
I loved Patricia Benito’s series on Elle-Spain on things she learned in NYC:
First Installment: “Esto me conectó con algo en lo que pienso mucho, especialmente en este viaje: los pequeños movimientos que te llevan a sitios. Las casualidades o causalidades. El destino, si me apuras mucho.”
Second Installment: “Cosas que aprendí en Nueva York: ‘Siempre hay que intentar ir por la acera a la que le da el sol'”
Third Installment: “Te debes un respeto. Y no hay más”. Cosas que aprendí en Nueva York
Fourth Installment: «Ojalá me atreviera a hacerlo»
I think there is change in the air. February, as all time does, has left us a bit altered and changed. We move forward with hope, faith and energy for sunnier and brighter days. As Benito writes, we need to walk on the sunny sidewalk side, not the shady part of the street.
Be strong. Be courageous. See the miracles that surround you. Walk in and toward the light.