A Coronavirus Chronicle #23

Subtitle: My personal chronicle

Mid-February 2021. My first encounter with the virus. Right after I had received the first of two vaccine doses. My symptoms were mild. My self-quarantine and social isolation, 10 days.

Since then, I’ve had a second vaccine dose and two boosters, and I’ve adhered to the protocols for sanitation and safety.

Still, I didn’t assume that I couldn’t be infected again. I did think that any subsequent infection would prove less severe.

For the past two weeks, the coronavirus and I have been reacquainted. My symptoms, harsher than the first go-round. (And I’ve been reminded that “positive” isn’t a favorable testing outcome.)

Nevertheless, with reasonable expectation that I again will be well, my mind and heart and my prayers have been occupied with others.

In a recent sermon, I said, “I never compare my experience with yours. Especially when your circumstances appear worse than mine. For when I do that, I tend to dismiss my concerns as unimportant. Therefore, I ignore that inner, whispering voice of conscience that reminds me of who I am and what matters to me.”[1]

On second thought (or, as I oft say, if I didn’t rethink what I thought, I wouldn’t do much thinking at all), for these past two weeks, I’ve contemplated little else than others, whether known or strangers to me, whose life’s situations are more difficult than mine. Thus, I have cared and prayed more for them; their relief from worry, their release from woe.

When I am well, may I not forget what it is to be who I am meant to be: always, a person for others.

© 2022 PRA

[1] From the sermon, The Sound of Silence, June 19, 2022

#beingforothers #prayingforothers

2 thoughts on “A Coronavirus Chronicle #23

  1. Paul I am so very sorry you were infected again!! And that it has been more severe this time!!

    Your blog reminds me though of the virtuous cycle from The Book of Joy! By the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I use it in almost all of my presentations. The virtuous cycle says we heal our own pain by turning to the pain of others… and the more joy we have the more joy we can share with others. You’ve certainly illustrated that in both of your bouts with COVID.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loretta, your reference to “The Book of Joy!” reminds me that the principle and practice of focusing on the worries and woes of others as a methodology of self-care in the healing of (perhaps cure for) our own worries and woes is deeply biblical. Moreover, the nature of selflessness in giving to others, thus, to find one’s truest self is embedded in not only the Judaic and Christian traditions, but in Eastern mysticism. Thus, it is no surprise that Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama found that they stood on similar and rich ground of what it is to life an authentic (that is, in league with the Creator) life. I thank you for this gracious reminder.

    As for me, long have I recognized within me a streak of selfishness. I believe it is rooted in deprivations of my formative years when I sensed the disregard of my personhood, thus, leading me to seek to please others (even and especially when such appealing to the favor of others was an act, an artifice to cover my lack of respect for myself). It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with this less than savory aspect of my being. Nevertheless, as I can run from anyone, save myself, I have to deal — always! — with me. In all of this, I have learned (and re-learned many times and continuously re-learning!) that one sure way to subdue my selfishness is in service to, with, and for others. (Sometimes I think that I was called to ordination, for the labor of ministry is, ever and always, about service. And, in answered this call, little did I know way back then, that I would be saving myself or, rather, that God would be saving me in serving others.)



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