Disclaimer: This entry is about Sofi’s faith and religious beliefs. Her intention is solely to share her experience and NOT impose these beliefs on any of you.
You go in after eighty-four days. Not knowing what to expect, you’re vigilant, and careful to comply with all the biosecurity measures. The mass starts…you feel your heart pounding strong… very strong. At the same time, you feel a twitch in your stomach. You recognize these physiological reactions understanding you’re anxious. You take deep breaths to calm down. You inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale…
You’ve been yearning this moment and don’t want this feeling to distract you and keep you from enjoying what you’ve been longing for. You keep breathing…the mass readings are over. You notice the people around you, with you they make fourteen people in the church. You sing and decide that despite your anxiety you’re going to experience every part of the celebration.
The divine moment arrives, what you’ve longed for so much, the main reason you’re here…communion. You put on hand gel as previously requested, and you walk, approaching the altar, following the guidelines and labels that ensure social distancing. At that moment you start sobbing, uncontrollably, just like you did when your parents left you on your first day of school, back in Pre-K. You come closer and receive Jesus with tears on your eyes. Now your anxiety begins to make sense.
You remember how some failed to understand those who decided to take it in the hands and ironically we all now have to do it this way. This only proves once more that Jesus is there, beyond any precept, to be touched and received, amidst our humanity. "I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed", we say.
You go back to the bench still crying and you kneel down to pray, but your cry is such that you can’t even think…you cry, you cry, and you keep crying. It seems as if your eyes are a water faucet with a broken tap and at that moment you understand something. No matter how dark and uncertain the road may be, there’s a constant that’s always there with us, Jesus, God, and those of us who believe in Him know that yes, a pandemic is big, very big, but God is bigger and He’s the only one who can get us through this situation.
You receive the final blessing, with watery eyes but feeling at peace for you know that God in his greatness has listened to your heart, in the midst of the incessant crying.
PARENTHESIS… Regardless of your faith or spirituality, as human beings we need hope. A very special person for me and who I was lucky to have as a teacher always stressed this out…human beings need to have hope, whatever that means to us. For me it is God, for others it can be science, nature, destiny, Buddha, the Jedis, whatever. It’s this hope that’ll help keep us on our feet in spite of hardships and it’s through it that resilience can be developed; that ability to recover from crisis to continue growing. With this I want to encourage us to nurture this hope, whatever it may be, and find a way to rediscover and refocus it to grow along with it…parenthesis closed.
Leaving, you see a sign in the parking lot that says “Welcome home”… and you think about when you depart from this world and you find yourself with the people you love that have already parted. You remember your helpless cry that which expressed everything you have felt during this pandemic: all the frustration, all the uncertainty, all the sadness… You think how when that day comes, you’ll walk towards the Father sobbing, just like when you went to receive communion after eighty-four days, but this time it won’t be you who receives Jesus, but the other way around and he will open his arms and say “Welcome home.”
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