Navigating through troubled times is often fearful, terrifying, and disappointing. We want to make decisions that move us along, but we are also fearful about making the wrong choice. Especially, during this pandemic we are fearful about our lives being touched by others, but with a deep desire to stay connected. These meditations trace the emotional upheaval of our struggle as well as provide hopeful solace in the struggle itself Philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, spiritual advisors, and theologians are useful sources to this journey. In my endeavor to clarify and advance the singularity of our struggle, I have gleaned from many of those listed above. But most of all I have endeavored to dive into my own vulnerability, connecting myself to the human struggle for security and love.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought with it a time of trial and trouble, a cutting-off from our usual activities, our gatherings, and our friends. This can also be a period for reflection and renewed commitment to core spiritual values. Stephen Locke’s meditations in Outrageous Fortune offer much wisdon in these hard months for deepening our understanding of the fragility of life and reemphasizing the need for commitment to forms of community based on love and responsibility rather than isolation and selfish individualism. This is a book for pondering and for inspiration.
Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago Divinity School
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