Life in Complicated Times

Begin with honesty: it isn't easy. Open your heart to God, then do your part to bless and heal.

The Scripture

Matthew 17:1-8
told by Deborah

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him up on a high mountain, just the four of them. There he was transfigured before them; his face was as radiant as the sun, even his clothes became dazzlingly white. And they beheld Moses and Elijah speaking with him.

Peter said to Jesus, “Oh wow, Lord, it’s good we’re here; we can set up three altars — if you want us to; one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was babbling like this, suddenly a bright cloud encircled them, and a voice from the cloud spoke, “This is my Son, the Beloved; I am delighted with him; listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they collapsed on the ground in terror. But then Jesus came and touched them and said, “Stand up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one aside from Jesus.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano

Worth Repeating

Jesus blessing“Do not be afraid,” these words of reassurance and encouragement are found more than seventy times within the Holy Scriptures (with some variation, depending on the translation). Spoken through the ancient prophets, and repeatedly by our Lord Jesus Christ, the phrase crops up so often that there can be no doubt of its importance. This is holy information we need to know.

Don’t freak out. Keep calm and carry on. Trust in God. Do not be afraid. Easy to say, but sometimes difficult to do. Scary things happen, dangerous situations arise, we are overwhelmed by injuries and illnesses, stresses and confusion…. and we are tempted to panic; to react instinctively, ferociously, our lowest animal nature taking control: to attack, to strike out, to fight and flail at others — though the enemy, the terrible demon Fear, is lodged within ourselves.

Only in peace shall we find peace, only in compassion shall our hearts be healed. We shall be more than victors through Christ who strengthens us, and who guides us in the way we should go. Do not be afraid.

In Complicated Times

Stop, breathe,
and breathe again;
get hold of yourself.
It isn’t the end of the world.


Life is complicated,
to be sure:
and troubling;
but this is no time for
mindless panic,
hopeless despair,
the hoarding of toilet paper.

in our midst,
we must meet
a ferocious challenge;

a highly-contagious,
sometimes fatal

an unfeeling
of humankind.

our souls
are stripped bare:
shorn of all deceptions
and disguises;
for all to see.

it will be revealed
who we are,
and Whose we are
by how we live
and what we do:

if we are more than victors;
beings of courage and cooperation,
gentle grace,
generosity of spirit,
and concern
for one and for all,


we can grasp and grab,
curse and accuse,
condemn and revile;

of one another —

far more toxic
than any disease.

It is the nature of
The Beast:
to evoke
echoes of ancient enmity;
brother against brother,
when man is wolf
to man;
in desperate times
desperate deeds;


Jesus in the desert

there is a Call
to nobility:
a sweet-voiced hymn
reminding us
of our common humanity;
a divine summons
to look to the Light,
to see beauty,
to find joy,
to speak peace,
to be a voice of hope,
a source of healing,
kindness and compassion;
an example of abundant life
even —
especially —
in the midst of a deadly contagion.

we have been given
an opportunity
to discover who we are,
and Whose we are
by how we live
and what we do:

Here and now
we can choose:
to be radiant torches
blazing forth the Light,
or to hide ourselves in the shadows.

May the glorious Beloved illuminate our path and strengthen our spirits,


Suggested Spiritual Exercise

Be radiant!