Senior Development Officer Sarah Granger shares her mindful wisdom to help us remain resilient during these especially stressful times.
On a warm Wednesday morning, I prepared for a check-in meeting with Executive Director Rick Birkel. Although the meeting started with a familiar agenda and tone, during our conversation I found myself becoming more vulnerable than usual. I shared with Rick that I was feeling overwhelmed and that that the weight of my overwhelm—a mix of family stress, COVID-19 anxiety, and an extensive to-do list—was slowing me down and impacting my motivation. Rick’s response was this:
“Just make all that you do holy.”
I immediately scribbled the phrase in the margin of my notepad. Make all that I do holy. And then I felt the world stand still for just a moment as I pondered the meaning of this phrase. Every once in a while, we all can experience a moment of Divine grace, and I knew that this was one of those moments for me. Those six simple grace-filled words were a gift to me because they were a much-needed invitation to
remember to live with awareness and humility.
I am familiar with the idea of holiness. I understand that holiness is not some out-of-reach reality available only to the pious and saintly. Rather, holiness is something we can all see and experience when we simply live with an awareness that our good and gracious God, the source of all love, is always in our midst—in me, in you, in all things. We make things holy when we are aware of this truth and trust this loving presence to live and love in us and through us.
Great freedom can come with this awareness. As I read and re-read this phrase in the margin of my notepad, I felt a wave of this freedom wash over me and saw some of my overwhelm subside. My moment of awareness gave me clarity about what is mine to do and control and what isn’t. It also brought me intentionally into the present moment, where all that is is now.
When we make all that we do holy, we are able to hold with grace the messiness of life. And these days, there is a lot that is messy. I don’t know about you, but every time I put on a mask, I am reminded of what a mess COVID-19 is causing, and how much I am resisting the challenges and changes that the pandemic is bringing into my life. But perhaps my mask can be a reminder to make all that I do holy if only I let it.
A prayer as I put on my mask
as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth—
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace”—
a tangible and visible way of living
love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.
since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.
As the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully—
and full of care—
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth be
shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.
In your Name and
in that love,
May it be so.
May it be so.