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Be Still – A Reflection

March 23, 2020
A Cardinal in a tree at our friends home in Mobile, Alabama

As we enter the second week of Virtual Worship and Fellowship since the cancellation of worship and gatherings following the arrival of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Colorado. To be honest, it has been both surreal and scary to watch the march of the COVID-19 across the nation and world. As I watch healthcare workers, first responders, and others work around the clock along with our Public Health officials I am humbled and amazed at their tenacity and courage in the face of insurmountable odds.

So, what do we do as people faith who walk with so many people through these times? I know for me and for Denise that the pace is exhausting as we provide worship and fellowship opportunities in this new Virtual realm. We also know that we are not along as we gather with others who are in ministry several times a week to share encouragement, insights, and the common bond of love. I remember folks asking me a number of years ago, “Who takes care of Padre?” I would add to that now, “Who takes care of Padre AND Denise?” We are both thankful for so many who do care for us and walk with us. Our professional colleagues… our friends… our co-workers and leadership at Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies… our Presbytery of Plains and Peaks Executive Presbytery, Rev Denise Pass… and of course, each other.

As we pray for a slowing down of the pace of worship and fellowship preparation via Zoom, Emails, and Phone Calls… we try to look for opportunities each day to Be Still. In a posthumously (2007) book Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours, I read the following from Monday’s night prayer:

Be Still

Listen to the stones of the wall.

Be silent, the try to speak your



To the living walls.

Who are you?


Are you? Whose

Silence are you?

Who (be quiet)

Are you (as these stones

Are quiet). Do not

Think of what you are

Still less of

What you may one day (but who?) be

The unthinkable one

You do not know.

Oh be still, while

You are still alive,

You are still alive,

And all things live around you

Speaking (I do not hear)

To your own being,

Speaking by the Unknown

That is in you and in themselves.

I will try, like them

To be my own silence:

And this is difficult… — “In Silence,” Collected Poems of Thomas Merton, p. 280-281

In these times, I believe that we are called to Be Still and listen for the blowing of the Holy Spirit (Ruah… Hebrew for Wind) in our midst.

May we find in this silence dear reader, our hope, our faith, our equipping, and the love which God calls us to share with the world.

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