January 20, 2021

I’ve no idea what this day will bring.  None of us does, ever, about any day. But within me is a little spark of hope, fueled by the first of two COVID-19 vaccinations that Rod and I received on Monday.  I woke up Monday morning just about as excited as I’ve ever been, almost like Christmas morning as a child.  All because I was going to get a shot! I am not afraid of shots (allergy injections over the years took care of that). The shots I received after the births of our sons (I’m Rh negative and Rod is Rh positive) were about as painful as could be, so I’ve been there, done that and lived to tell the tale. But never have I awakened in a party mood because I was going to get a shot!

The spark of hope is a reminder that many positive, hopeful, life-affirming things happen every day. Sometimes we just lose sight of that fact, helped by the news cycle. Here is a partial list from a 6-hour period on Tuesday that I encountered:

  • The photo of a 2-month-old first born child of a clergy friend, a smiling bundle of hope, delivered right to my in-box, solace in the midst of craziness.
  • A friend’s car wouldn’t start for the first time in 6 years just as she was getting ready to transport three persons to the airport, and another friend dropped everything to do the driving.
  • A different friend spoke of preparations for her grandson’s 5th birthday dinner, including “Captain America Treat bags” to deliver to his school for the boy’s in-person classmates.
  • Another friend busied herself with her weekly baking for dozens of cookies to be shared at a food distribution ministry for the hungry.
  • Households throughout the nation placed lighted candles in windows in memory of the 400,000 persons who have died of COVID-19 in our nation to-date.
  • Church bells rang at 5:30 pm to do the same.
  • A friend calling to remind me of these two items, thus assuring that I would indeed ring St. Paul’s bells! (Thanks for the reminder! It was hope passed on) I rang our bells 40 times, once for every 10,000 persons who have died.
  • A vendor took the time to stop and talk-story about concerns and hopes, all safely-distanced at church.
  • The walk I took with our dog in the crisp and sunny weather, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back
  • Sharing two pie-dough cookies with Rod after lunch.
  • Taking the first sip of a cup of coffee with one of the above-mentioned pie-dough cookies.
  • Inviting a few other congregations to partner with St. Paul’s in a Repurposing Church workshop.
  • A renewed determination to preach the good news at all time – and use words as necessary.

What is on your list?  None of the things on my list will make the news, but they affirm the hope expressed in Lamentations 3, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” When we share these experiences with each other, hope grows, and only God knows how the tide of hope might change for the world! ~ Anne

These meditations are provided as a ministry in this time of pandemic as a ministry of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

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