We are beginning another new normal as the federal guidelines for social distancing expires . . . all of us will be beginning it whether we leave our homes or not.

The worst part of the new normal is the anxiety that has made itself at home in my heart.  My peers are almost the majority of deaths in Maryland. That’s pretty scary!

Oh most days, I can paint my fears  into a corner, diverting my thoughts with acrylics and classical music.  A wonderful cadre of friends and family redirect anxiety’s whispers, giving me other things to think about. Some friends have been kind enough to tell me what is on their plate, recasting my anxiety into a smaller and smaller space.

When Anxiety Revs Up

But visits to “halls” of social media enable anxiety to pick up a megaphone and holler.

I am unhappy how divided we are in the church, and the nation, and of course the world. And we keep inventing reasons to deepen the trenches between us.

It’s not new . . . it just hurts; especially as there are far fewer sands in my old hourglass!

I fear that we are too often ingesting, and digesting, the fear-based, and comfort-seeking, talking points and agendas of our (even well-meaning) Media, public leaders, and celebrities (secular and religious). Please don’t immediately think of those with whom you disagree or who frustrate you. Think of yourself, ourselves. ~ Brian LoPiccolo

Thinking of myself, then, and others,

I realize I have very little to contribute to the national debate on how to live through a pandemic – and the discussions amongst church folk I avoid, for they can be as . . . testy.

Consequently, I finished two more paintings of a subject I love: red geraniums. They are small canvases, inspired by two painters I admire: Matisse and Linda Jacobus.

new normal

Two Studies: Red Geraniums

Sister Corita Kent is right: doing and making things is a good tonic in troubled times.

The fact is COVID-19 is still a problem, and we’ve upended our economy trying to stop it.

My anxiety grows the more opinions are offered – supported by statistics – oh those wonderful numbers that I do not understand –

  • “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” Mark Twain

Today, sometimes the facts seem pliable!

But however you stretch them, the deaths, and the social and financial  dislocations are real and staggering.  And tomorrow we all will face times that are more interesting.

No, I am not quite ready.

As a month of prayer for the church, America and the world concluded, we were directed to remember God’s faithfulness.

His faithfulness seems like a safe place to camp tonight . . . as well as  tomorrow as we all begin another new normal:

Psalm 26:3
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in your faithfulness.

Psalm 33:4
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.

Psalm 119:90
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

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