What I Am Learning in These Days
I recently saw a YouTube video of a comedian talking with her four-month-ago self. The four-month-ago self said things like, “I think the Australian wildfires will be the defining issue of 2020,” and “I have so much travel coming up.” Meanwhile, the present self was saying things like, “Do you have any hobbies?” and “You might want to make a Costco run…”
Oh how things have changed! As I think back to the things I planned for and worried about even 3 months ago, I’m amazed how little they mean now. We all know it’s been a hard couple of months, and it will be hard for some time to come. But Dorothy Anderson reminded me recently that there are “blessings in the curse.”
With that in mind, I’m looking for the blessings in these times:
Humanity. I forget sometimes that I’m human. I want to believe that if I work a little harder, I can control my life. We all suspect that if we do enough or have enough money or influence, life will be good. This time has reminded us that we are fragile. We are not in charge of this world. And, that we need to depend on each other and God in this life. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” It’s okay to ask for help. This
reminder is a hard blessing, but it is true.
Sabbath. It is hard to just “be.” Related to #1 – to not be doing, producing or fixing, is difficult for us. It seems like in the first weeks of stay-at-home, we were manic. Working from home or cleaning the house – anything to be busy. But as weeks drag on, we’re seeing that Sabbath (a stopping to just be held by God) is possible. Taking walks, seeing spring arrive, creating new ways to be as a family or connecting with friends is taking on a whole new importance. Within the worry and fear, there is a blessing of Sabbath.
We are connected. Sure, we all knew that in theory, but now we see that health and generosity in other parts of the world make a difference here. The act of staying at home can be a gift to others. We are learning that elders, support workers, and our next-door neighbors – the people we often ignored — are precious to us. We are learning that we need to receive help with grace, and to give help in any
way we can. We are finding creative ways to gather, converse or check in. God created us to be connected with God and each other. We are blessed to re-learn that fact and find ways to be connected.
Resurrection happens. Really. Resurrection is about Jesus rising at Easter AND it is about every time God brings about new life and new possibilities. After Easter, Peter experienced resurrection when he saw Jesus for the first time, and when he had breakfast on the beach and Jesus forgave him (John 21) – and when the Spirit came to fill him (Acts 2) – and when he discovered that God loved all people (Acts 10).
All of these were life changing, possibility bringing, world opening events for Peter. These were moments of resurrection. Some were fast, some were slow, some big, some small but all gave new life.
These days have resurrection in them as well. The air and waterways are clearing. Neighborhoods are singing together. A closed restaurant in Minneapolis is delivering meals to the homebound. There are creative, new ideas springing forth. Resurrection is always a surprise and always a gift from God.
Watch for it. We will experience moments of resurrection in the midst of death.
If we could be doing anything else right now, I know we would all wish it. But since this is where life has taken us, I invite you to look for the blessings in the curse – the ways that God is acting in this world and in your life. (Really! Send me an email or text – I’d love to hear them.)
I pray you will see God in these challenging days —
~ Pastor Cindy