My youngest granddaughter called and we were face-timing, a regular happening during this season of isolation. It’s killing her that she hasn’t been able to see her chickens that she picked out as babies and brought home. She likes for me to walk around our garden paths to see how “her” plants are growing; the green beans reaching with their first tendrils to climb the trellis and the eggplant and okra poking their heads out but waiting for the heat to thrive.

Our little girl was longing to see with her own eyes. After our virtual tour, she succinctly wrapped up her thoughts in her precious words, “that’s totally my garden!” Being reminded of her pride of ownership in the garden exhilarated her and she could not help but proclaim her joy!

After we hung up, as I was basking in the fuzzy warm afterglow of our conversation, I thought to myself, “now here’s another lovely kernel of gratitude!” I’m thankful that the time spent together nurturing our connections before a crisis slams us, can carry us through the anxiety and grieving of separation.

I remember dark times in my life in which I could barely sense God’s presence. That sense of separation left me floundering and feeling destitute, lost, and bereft. I fiercely clung to the remnants of the spiritual relationship I did have.

My prayer for you during this time of separation is that you become acutely aware of the preciousness of your own beloved relationships. Nurture them in whatever means you have available. Anticipate with sparkling hope your longed-for reunions.

Open your eyes and recognize those cherished remembrances just as some of the disciples did on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24). Talk to each other and reminisce about your shared memories, helping each other to hope for more memory making times together in the future.

Are your eyes opened to the holy presence of your beloved relationships?

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. They said to one another, “Did we not feel our hearts on fire as he talked with us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:31-32

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