April 28, 2020

Finding Strength & Comfort

I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.

Ani DiFranco (b. 1970) Singer | Songwriter

These days profoundly disturb. They poke at our fears, they pick at our anxieties, they dig deep into our priorities and our patience and our sense of safety. They disrupt the contentment that comes from familiar routines and ordinary daily interactions.

We long for comfort that soothes; we hunger for meaningful solace.

Comfort is reassuring when grounded in reality. We are only comforted when a hopeful future is imaginable, when it is possible. Comforting words need to ring true – they must reflect the reality of faith and the reality of facts. Fantasy can provide a bit of respite, but for comfort, we need something that might be able to really happen.

Comfort is restorative when steeped in empathy. We can be calmed when we believe those offering care know their own vulnerability. Even if we must face circumstances individually, we can find solace in solidarity with others. Our community and our companions can hold hope on our behalf. We can identify with stories of others who have suffered before us, and perhaps know a measure of peace.

Comfort is healing when infused with confidence. Compassionate words can remind us of the profound power that fuels our resilience. Prayer or meditation can link us to enduring pools of strength. Nature or beauty can renew our well-being. Fear meets the force of human history, the unceasing courage shown in times of struggle, the fortitude our forbearers passed to us. We have both our abilities and divine accompaniment on our side.

Deep sources of sustaining solace abide.

To whom will I offer comfort today? What meaningful solace will I tap for my own nurture?