My arrival into Santiago has been quite an unusual one. A little over a week after I landed, we went into lock down due to the covid-19 global pandemic - a reality that has significantly influenced the landscape of my time here.
Amid this required (and important) time of isolation, I’ve been reflecting on that first week I had here in Santiago and the blessing it held. Santiago is a beautiful city. It’s peppered with green spaces and parks and is situated between rivers on both sides. My first few days here carried the beginning evidences of spring with tulips and daffodils flashing with their vibrancy. Now, from within quarantine, I’m struck even more with the gift of this beauty and I’m reminded to call it to mind.
What a world we live in: where intricate, green life flourishes, unfathomably, out of stone. Where rivers continue to flow, following their path and cadence. Where buildings and streets carry with them the stories of the people and circumstances that have come before us for generations.
Every evening at 8pm, as I go to the window and join with neighbors here and across Spain to cheer on our health care workers, I’m amazed at the gift of our being together despite the distance between us. We can still take the time to celebrate each other, we can still turn ourselves toward gratitude, and with intention rejoice in the good things that persist all around us.
All of our lives have been affected by this unique cultural moment in some way. The world is in many respects at a standstill in the face of the pandemic. In this time of uncertainty and chaos, may our eyes be open wide and drawn back into wonder. May we do the work to find what is beautiful around us, even if for many of us it must be from the smaller spaces of our homes, and may we take the time to rejoice in it.
May we be reminded in the stillness of the gift of life. Let us truly consider him who endured the cross - and find ourselves drawn into anticipation of Jesus in his Easter glory inviting us all unto life anew.