May 13, 2020
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
The pandemic pushed our congregation and each of us through a ready-or-not, here-it-comes threshold. I marvel at how flexible and nimble our 272-year-old congregation has been in adapting. Adaptive change isn’t easy, but in a matter of weeks, we figured out how to be community, to be church, without meeting together face-to-face. Rod and I adjusted by necessity to a new way of life, one that is centered on both living together and working together from our home, and aside from taking time to enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, a few visits to restaurants to carry out meals, and an occasional shopping excursion via curbside delivery.
But the past couple of mornings, I’ve awakened with a bit of a heavy heart. Not the kind of heaviness that comes from grief or depression. This is more the heaviness of anxiety about what comes next, when what comes next isn’t going to be what was before COVID 19. It would be OK to keep some of the hidden blessings of this time, not travel as much as before, make less trips to the grocery store, or any store for that matter, and spend more time at home sans a virus. But what comes next feels more like a masked, distanced, sing-ing-less, still-dangerous parallel version of “before.”
All I can think to do today, is to write a blessing for this day. Here goes:
Each day that we stand at the threshold of what’s next
may we catch a glimmer of light that is caught
by the leaves on the tree outside my window.
Like them, may we turn towards the source of our light and life.
May we dance together with the spirit wind that stirs the leaves.
May we be playful as the squirrel climbing fearless among the limbs
May we reach skyward toward the highest and best good,
which by grace resides within us and within our neighbors.
May we hold each moment as precious, breathed deeply into our roots.
May we notice the daily incremental growth of joy, of strength.
May we discover the gift of patience in the waiting.