I could hardly have imagined when I wrote my previous blog entry, just a couple of weeks ago, that I would so quickly find myself isolating at home for another 7 days – this time as a close contact of a loved one who tested positive to COVID.
Until Day 3 of this isolation period, I worked from home and in the evenings watched Netflix, listened to an Audiobook, and found a myriad of things to distract myself from the inner voice of frustration. But something changed within me as a friends generous and loving act shifted me from frustration to embracing this second period in isolation. On learning that I was back in isolation, my friend had texted me to let me know that they were dropping off a selection of books to help keep me occupied. To my utter surprise not only had she dropped off a deeply considered selection of books but also a bag of food and drink with an array of cheeses, biscuits, and other delights. Her generosity and thoughtfulness not only brought tears to my eyes but also gratitude and the reminder that I was not alone in this isolation and was in fact held in love.
Amongst the bag of books, lovingly chosen by my friend, were true treasures including – Richard Rohr’s Just this: prompts and practices for contemplation – a small volume with short reflective entries, perfect for providing soul nourishment.
Rohr, in his introduction, titled ‘Awe and surrendering to it,’ writes about contemplation and a seeing that, ‘… is much more than mere looking because it includes recognizing and thus appreciating … The contemplative mind does not tell us what to see but teaches us how to see what we behold. Contemplation allows us to see the truth of things in their wholeness.’
As my time in isolation has progressed, I have reflected on Rohr’s statements on contemplation and opened my eyes to recognising, appreciating, and seeing the truths lying within isolation. Yes, there has been frustration but as I opened to awe at my friend’s gift of love, I have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the reality, ‘… that we live in a fully sacramental universe where everything is a pointer and an epiphany’.
May you and I be opento awe, to surrendering to it, to seeing and experiencing its truth, epiphanies, and blessings, oft hidden in plain sight in the unexpected gifts, joys, and challenges of life.
With thanks to Juliet, a ‘pointer’ to a new ‘epiphany.’
 Rohr, Richard, Just This: prompts and practices for contemplation (Albuquerque, New Mexico: CAC Publishing, 2017).
 Rohr, p. 7
 Rohr, p. 11