Finding comfort in difficult times

Date: March 31, 2023

Our friend, Wendy, gave Lesley and me some beverage napkins. It had the simple message: “I’m in a really good place right now. Not emotionally or spiritually. Just on my couch with my dog.” One delightful tendency of Maddie – our Labradoodle – is that she insists on being stroked while you sit on the couch. You stroke for a bit, pause, and suddenly an outreached paw insists you must carry on giving her strokes. I confess I like it.

There is lots going on just at the moment. From job searches for our seniors, to numerous assignments, to the implications of the affiliation, there is some anxiety in the system. Naturally, there are good reasons for this anxiety – the job search is hard, and the assignments are complicated. It is perfectly understandable to be anxious. And so, we all need to find comfort in difficult times.

Stroking Maddie while sitting on couch is part of my way to find comfort. She seems to understand. She senses that there is much going on. So, she will sit there, receive the strokes, and trust that in her little way she is helping. She is right.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of The General Theological Seminary

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