Savior of the Nations, Come: December 7, 2021

Savior of the Nations, Come: The Advent 2021 Devotional Book for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:2 (NRSV)

The past 18 months of COVID-19 have been trying, locked away in our homes. I am so grateful that I live in such a beautiful place as the Northwest where I can enjoy the beauty of nature given to us by God. We spent many a weekend on our boat, anchored in a cove, sometimes the only boat in that cove. Just appreciating the majesty of the mountains, the gentle rocking of the boat, the wildlife, made me feel centered again. I took my refuge in nature and felt renewed to be able to go back home to deal with the challenges of the next week.

Think of those who live in a tiny apartment in a high rise in cities across the US. Imagine how they must have felt trapped in that apartment building with high rises all around them, especially during the time of COVID! We have a greenbelt bordering our backyard, so we have deer coming through our yard following the trails blazed centuries before we built here. We never tire of seeing the fawns frolic across the lawn, the bucks doing their dance in the fall rutting season, the does taking care of their fawns. The deer fence around our garden keeps the deer from munching on those tender leaves of new growth.

I started working part-time in Anacortes in the summer of 2019. When COVID hit in early 2020, we all had to start working from home. So that meant I went into Anacortes twice a week to get checks signed and pick up my paperwork. My employer allowed me to work from home permanently when it was time to return to the office. That has given me so much flexibility to be able to get away on the weekends to enjoy nature and fit in my other commitments.

Lord, thank you for the way You provide a refuge when we need it most. Thank you for all the blessings of living in the Pacific Northwest. Amen.
-Marilyn Allen