This morning, I sit and write from my home. The refrigerator hums gently and the cat's fountain drip-drip-drips. Ezra sleeps quietly -- his first nap of the day. In this season, it is so very easy to get caught up in the long lists of to-do. Christmas preparations, end-of-year tasks, cards to write, calls to make, people to see, appointments to squeeze in before the holidays. I, as much as anyone, can find myself in a frenzy of do-do-do go-go-go. It often takes being sick to slow me down. And yet, this morning here I am.
This Advent Season, as we explore the theme "Close to Home," I hope you will pause and slow down (even for a moment) to simply be present. To say hello to the here. To make and claim your home in the now. Part of being at home in the now is paying attention to our bodies -- our breath, our energy, our weariness, stiffness, expansiveness. Our bodies often give us clues as to how our minds and spirits are doing.
Whenever you read this, I invite you to pause.
· Put your feet flat on the ground.
· Breathe. In and out.
· Pay attention to the sensations in your body.
· Pay attention to sounds.
· Look around -- turning your head and torso to face every direction.
Be here now. For here, in this moment, we can connect with the firm foundation of God's presence and love. This is my prayer for you today and this week. Be here now. With God. In God.
As we locate ourselves here and now, I invite you to lift up a prayer on this World AIDS day -- for the many people who have lost loved ones or entire communities to AIDS. For the stigma that has long surrounded this disease. And for all the people around the world living with HIV or AIDS.
And give thanks -- for scientists and doctors who work tirelessly to develop treatment, vaccines and cures for diseases like AIDS, cancers and COVID.
Today, may you find yourself at home wherever you are. In your body. And in the firm foundation of God's love.
With love and hope,