Peace Amidst the ChaosMaria Rooney
This is the fourth post in our series called “Connection Reflections.” We hope these messages will warm your heart and make you smile during these times of “distancing.”
Guest Post by teacher and author Maria Rooney
Finding hope in times of despair is difficult, and the past weeks have seriously tested the faith of all of us. No one has escaped this pandemic. At times, I’m sure that most of us, including myself, have questioned why? Why this virus? Why the world? When will it end? Will the future go back to the way it was, or will the future, after the virus, be seriously different? Will the old norm return? And then I wonder, Do I even want the old norm to return? For me, I don’t know. Right now the world has slowed down. Time has been there to do so much that time prevented in the past.
Things like spending more time with my husband, long walks, reading a book, binge watching a show, sleeping in everyday, the luxury of not caring what day it is, watching the parade of dog walkers in my neighborhood whom I’d never seen before, walking my own dog more often, not having to rush anywhere, and reflecting more about my life and my values.
I have been a very reflective person my whole life, and I am always journaling, going into my quiet zone, and looking for signs from God when life is very challenging. There are numerous incidences in my life where God has sent me a sign to let me know He is still there. Good Friday this year was one of them. While walking with my very lively chocolate Labrador puppy, Bailey, we turned to go down the street toward home, when a yappy little pug named Vinegar (an appropriate name for his attitude) started to bark a lot while on his leash that was attached to a stake in the front yard. Now, this was my and Bailey’s second encounter with him, and so I decided to turn around and take Bailey down the other street toward home—to avoid the frenzy and keep the peace I was in. I like to talk to God when I walk. The solitude keeps me grounded.
As Bailey and I turned down the street, two doves flew up to the wires above us and caught my attention. Doves are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and for the past twenty-five years, whenever I am feeling fear in a situation, the doves magically appear around me. If I don’t see them at first, I can hear them coo. I felt connected at that moment and thanked God for hearing my prayers and kept walking, reflecting that the day was Good Friday.
Then about twenty feet down the road, Bailey picked up this ring of grass from the street. Here in Florida, St. Augustine grass grows in a vine. This piece that was on the ground had dried in a circular shape, and when I took from Bailey, it instantly reminded me of the crown of thorns. I smiled and took it home, where I placed it on my patio as a remembrance of this time.
My life has taught me that whenever I look for God, He is always there. Perspective is so important, and this time period has given each of us our own perspective on life, the world, Mother Earth, time, values, and knowing that love binds us all.
Seek him and you will find Him. Finding peace in the mist of this difficult time is healing.
Maria Rooney is an author of multiple works in progress in the women’s fiction genre. You can follow her at reflectionsbyria.com. She also teaches creative writing and eighth-grade EAL in the Sunshine State.
Photo Credit – Maria Rooney
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