March 26, 2020

When I moved to Hawaii, I had to learn all about sharks and the best times and conditions for swimming without them.  When I moved to Charlotte, NC, I was clueless about copperheads, and had to learn how to best avoid them. Now I live in bear country, (something that wasn’t on St. Paul’s UCC church profile by the way). Finding out that bears are in town is another matter altogether. Last week I discovered this sign at the E. Reservoir Rd entrance to Seven Bends State Park:

This is a new normal for me. In much the same way, the time that we are living through is an uncertain time, a time when each day seems to be its own new normal. Perhaps you related to Jehoshaphat’s prayer I shared yesterday, a prayer of total dependence on God, “We don’t know what to do. So we look to you, our God, for help!” One thing we can do every day is pray, and then make the best choices we can for that day, doing the next right thing and then the next right thing, hour by hour, day by day. Below is a prayer of perspective for each of us:

Prayer for a Pandemic ~ Cameron Bellm (St. Paul’s UCC, Nutley)

May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who much choose between preserving their health of making their rent. May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools are closed remember those who have no options. May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all. May we who settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home. As fear grips our country, let us choose love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen. 

May my words be a loving embrace of God to you today.


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