We did some financial business on Saturday. When we met the notary who we employed he gave us a bump, not a handshake. Coronavirus social fallout. In extremis. We are afraid to hug and even shake hands. The world is colder.

I did my taxes last week. My wife is taking them to the tax preparer today. Money. This morning I see that the Dow has cratered again. I don’t plan to look at my stock and bond portfolio online any time soon. I positioned myself the best I could. A fearful fall. Yikes! I carry on, but less confidently.

Fear of personal human contact, fear of economic forces beyond our control, my own health issues — the world feels unsafe to me this morning.

Adding to this, the presidential candidates are heating up for this fall’s election. Here too I experience some anxiety. I’m looking for a candidate who reflects my Christian values — for me it is someone who will move beyond the current politics of hostility and polarization and help us work together again. We need to start getting along better. Our polarized two party system is failing us.

And I want a leader who will lead us to better take care of our beautiful planet earth. Regardless of your stand on climate change, there is no doubt that we are polluting and trashing and destroying ecosystems and species right and left. This can’t continue. We must think and plan for those who come after us.

I also want a leader who will avoid excessive debt, especially business leveraged debt, but few voices are sounding the alarm on this. And I want help creating wise and humane immigration policies. I want a leader who will eschew racism, care for the poor and the marginalized and value and respect women.

I haven’t found that leader among the candidates yet, especially someone with a deep passion and wisdom and plan for bringing us together again.

What to do? How do I engage in good psychohygiene?

While not denying present losses and dangers, while taking appropriate safe guards, while continuing to choose wisely, I can help myself with my fears in several ways.

First, I take the long view of things. Current problems — while very significant — will change over time. Health ebbs and flows. Economics cycle down and up. Political leaders come and go.

Secondly, I can do what I can.

I can foster my own politics of love and avoid the politics of contempt. I can make my own progress in caring for the planet and in loving others. I’ve been eating meals that leave a smaller carbon footprint. I’ve been eating meals that cause less suffering to animals. I’ve been using less plastic. I’ve been loving friends and family who don’t agree with me politically. I’ve been praying for immigrants and refugees living in fear and poverty. I have been making charitable contributions to organizations that care for the disabled and that build homes for the impoverished. I’ve been attempting to give the upmost respect and honor to the women in my life.

And I was gentle with myself today and tried to mitigate my own chronic pain and to use it to motivate me to pray for all the people in the world who are suffering today.

Thirdly, it helps to focus on the positive and good and safe in our lives — a warm, dry place to sleep tonight, loving friends and family, finances that at least meet the needs of the moment, beauty I can see around me.

I fear. I carry on as if I don’t. I mowed my lawn today, paid for my tax prep, protected some potted nasturtiums from the coming rain, fed the cat, took my medications, prayed for friends and family and world.

I took hope in moments of the day, even imperfect as they were because of pain. I spent a few moments sitting in my sunny garden, soaking in the warmth of God‘s love for me and for all of us. The gift of the sun is life. Tonight it will rain in San Diego. The earth will be watered with the refreshing and renewing power of life giving water. The economic cycle may be broken but the rain cycle is not. I look forward to sleeping to the sound of rain, water in the rain gutters, watering on my lawn, refreshment for the earth.

I want and need to engage in hope in God. He’s got me. He has got us.. He has come through before. He will again.

Oh my weak, unsettled soul, trust in God. Rest in God. He knows. He will not leave us to our own solutions or our own failures. He will spin the sun and send warm rain on us yet again.

Without God where could I turn for hope, comfort, help?

I try to take my cues from the wise ones.

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

and the fields produce no food,

though the olive crop fails

and no cattle in the stalls,

though there are no sheep in the pen

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth.

Hosea 6:3

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