Open Your Heart
The fatigue of social distance is strong. I certainly felt it last week in Kansas as I grieved the death of my mother in law. We ended up holding her memorial service on Zoom. The visitation was on Zoom, the burial words on Zoom, even the slideshow of her life was offered on Zoom. It felt distant and wrong. And then, something shifted. One of the names that showed up in the ‘waiting room’ was Bishop Jeff Lee. With one click there was his smiling face, greeting me and our family with an open heart.
When I visited the diocese of Chicago nine years ago, one of the interviews for the position of your priest was to meet with Bishop Jeff Lee. He is one of those clergy whose greeting is genuinely with an open heart.
And I still vividly recall my interior-self while singing with him and other clergy seated in a circle the lyrics to a simple song, Open Your Heart. As I sang, I felt a deep ascent rise in me to greet my then-new calling at St James the Less and life itself with an open heart.
As Bishop Lee prepares to retire, I will always have the invitation to relate to others with an open heart as a centerpiece of my ministry.
Now, as COVID-19 numbers rise to a place that causes us to stay home and refrain from social gatherings, I invite you to enter this time with an open heart.
The distance we must keep feels wrong, especially as we move toward the holidays whose incarnations each year, if not delight us, at least ground us within our families and social groups.
Open your heart.
Our interior stance is what truly matters when it comes to connection. Open your heart to new ways to forge connection. Open your heart to people who would benefit from your reaching out to them. Open your heart to God reaching back to you in a variety of surprising and wonderful ways.
Pray -- Open my heart O God today and every day to give and receive the love that you have made me for. Amen.
With you on the Journey