Rev.  Jan Bihl
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Come and find the quiet center in
the crowded life we lead,

find the room for hope to enter,

find the frame where we are freed;

clear the chaos and the clutter, 

clear our eyes,

that we can see all the things
that really matter, 

be at peace, and simply be.
(VU#374)

This is the hymn to which I awoke a number of times in late July…and through which the Holy Spirit finally got my attention. It became apparent to me that this was God’s invitation for my study and vacation time – to find the quiet center. It only began to really sink in after several disappointments and losses hit home. I was not going to be able to see my Mom and siblings and friends in Manitoba. No cooking together, laughing uproariously, telling stories, playing cards, sharing life…

Not even a road trip to see my sister in Alberta who could really use an in-person visit. And…no long,
reflective walks on the beaches near Tofino or drinking in the gift of Roy Henry Vickers’ art at the gallery there. No boogie boarding. Nope. God’s invitation was to find the quiet center here at home…

So that’s what we did…and it led to moments of deep gratitude for the beauty around us (walks, lazing on the beach at Spanish Banks), cherishing the people in our lives (an unexpected birthday lunch), times of literally clearing the chaos and clutter at home (what a relief!), taking joy in just being (watching and marvelling at our tomato plant growing), and listening for the Spirit a day at a time (what matters today?)

There were also moments of acknowledging the limitations of this COVID time and the sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear, fatigue and grief that show up at times for all of us…. In all of it, I was reminded of God’s unfailing love, faithfulness, healing, and creativity offered in each moment.


May Christ’s Hope, Freedom, Clarity, and Peace guide and guard us always.

Rev. Jan