Aroha is the Key

My heart goes out to these families who have had the rug ‘doubly’ pulled from under their feet with the sudden U-turn of another ‘lock down’ in our community. These families are being called to pause and wait until such time as they can gather with those who want to stand with them and mourn. An uncertain and unknown future. However grief can’t be put on hold and so I hope and pray for breath, rest, healing and a time to soak in memories. This is a time for us as a community to tenderly encircle them.

Last week as my thoughts turned to a family who had been paused ‘mid-flight’ in their funeral preparations with a sudden Level 3 lock down for Covid-19 – these words come to mind:

Take a moment now
Take a breath
We think of your dear mother
at rest.
We’ve gathered her memories
Prepared the prayers
Soaked each page
With heart felt tears.

And now we’re called
To wait and rest
Puts us all to the test
Take time to heal
Take to pray
My thoughts are with you
On this day

In our desire to reach out and support AROHA IS THE KEY.

In Maori, this beautiful word aroha, so simply described as love, is rather like a beautiful weaving. It has threads of the breath of life and the creative force of the spirit,  it weaves in abundance and opportunity, rejects the dark threads of greed and aggression and entwines threads that draws out the best in people and encourage generosity.

W S Merwin writes: “Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its colour.”
So how can we enfold those who grieve with a blanket of aroha?
“Mā te ngākau aroha koe e ārahi.”
“Let a loving heart guide your decisions.”
Are the wise words in this Maori proverb.

We can tenderly encompass those who are struggling in this season by reaching into our hearts and wells of creativity and generosity. It is the simple things that make a difference – a phone call, a text, a meal, a note, a card, maybe a banner – let your imagination run wild – these things are virtual hugs in a season where a hug and a handshake ‘outside your bubble’ are discouraged.

Often just the tiniest thing can make a difference.

Albert Camus writes: “In the midst of winter I find within me an invincible summer”.
As you reach out and in to another’s life you are saying “I care for you”, “you matter”, “have courage”. You are breathing life into the hearts and lives of those who are perhaps feeling assailed from all sides, helping them light their own candle of hope within.

“Mā te ngākau aroha koe e ārahi.”
“Let a loving heart guide your decisions.”