December 2020 Spiritual Reflection: Where is God in This Pandemic?
By Renee Villa, Campus Director of Spiritual Care
“In my anguish I called to the Lord: I cried to my God for help. In the heavenly temple my voice was heard; my crying reached God’s ears.” – Psalm 18: 16-18
Ministering in a nursing home setting is extremely rewarding but can also be very challenging, even under the best of circumstances. The reality is that our residents arrive here because their health has declined and they are in need of round the clock care. It can be a difficult transition for families. Brothers of Mercy becomes their new home. With the arrival of the Pandemic, additional obstacles surfaced. The rules for socializing were constantly changing. Working in a pandemic is like being in the house in the Wizard of Oz as a tornado spins you out of control. You keep waiting for the house to land when suddenly another forceful gust arrives. Each day becomes a battle to regain your footing.
Our residents have lived through a lot of history and difficult circumstances. They have survived wars, stock market crashes, job losses and personal losses, to name a few. The have already proven they have resilience by virtue of their age. They have a foundation of reserve. At times they cry out in anger. They shed many tears.
They are in good company. Jesus also cried out in anger, and wept.
To know that someone understands how you feel can be a great source of comfort. We have a God who understands our suffering and offers to walk with us during the worst of times. What matters most is that God hears our cries for help. Psalm 18 promises that no cry goes unheard. I find it very soothing to know my cries reach God’s ears. Who better to listen? It is necessary for us to also listen and pay it forward.
This is a time to remember the prayers that were answered in the past. We have a God who loves and hears us.
We can reflect God to everyone we encounter by providing a listening ear and a kind word.
This simple gesture will serve to comfort others and lift their spirits.