Facebook pixel Words of Encouragement During Covid-19 - Spiritual Life Blogcast | Pepperdine University Skip to main content
Pepperdine University

Words of Encouragement During Covid-19

The Prayer of St. Francis
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there's doubt, true faith in you
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there's sadness ever joy
Oh, master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving of ourselves that we receive
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.

But where do I find this peace in times such as these?

How do I find peace when I walk into my kitchen after two hours of teaching and two hours of meetings and see the havoc that my twelve-year-old has wreaked on our kitchen? But then I look beyond the mess to the cheesecake or the baguettes he just baked from scratch sitting neatly on the only clean spot on the counter, and when I say spot I mean a single spot. He is learning to bake, to create, to be independent, to care for others during this time at home. PEACE.

How do I find peace when I think about those among us in desperate need right now, the homeless, the unemployed, the people whose living was already tenuous before these difficult circumstances?
But then I think about the good works being done to support them, indeed right here in Malibu the good work of Oscar Mondragon and the volunteers for the Malibu Community Labor Exchange who've raised over $30,000 to provide some small support for the families of 100 workers who use this incredible community service, which had to close its doors a month ago. PEACE.

How do I find peace when I know our students, especially our seniors, are missing that special on campus social and academic experience, many while working through their own struggles that are sometimes complex and heavy, beyond what we're aware of? But then I think about the work of all those who are supporting them – Pepperdine staff, faculty, and administrators, who, while navigating the impact of this unprecedented experience on their own lives, work tirelessly to support our students. And I think about the grace our students give us when we flounder. I am so impressed by their strength and kindness. PEACE.

Now it would be risky business to pretend that I've found the perfect peace in all situations, especially because I live on campus so some of you in this very Zoom room have heard me lament the not so peaceful moments in my life, or perhaps have even heard the less than peaceful noises sometimes coming from my home – Safer at Home with two teenagers and a preteen is not always easy, or quiet. But the peace Jesus found even while on the cross provides us with a model. I wholeheartedly believe that we, created in the likeness of God, have the capacity to channel that inner peace of God. And while I'm not always successful at it, my hope and courage in pursuing it is unwavering, because Jesus, who lived as a human just like us, never gave up on channeling God's peace. PEACE.

Cynthia Colburn Cynthia Colburn, PhD is the Professor of Art History in the Fine Arts Division of Seaver College. These words of encouragement were originally shared as part of Employee Chapel at Pepperdine University in April 2020.