This time of isolation has been hard for many of us, especially those of us who live alone. It is hard to face only oneself, day in and day out, and we're tired. Those walks around the block help, but now more and more people are flooding the out-of-doors, and it's becoming more risky to be out. Phone calls, emails, and social media help, but one wearies of all the screen time too. Some days feel like we're making our way through a social desert.
This past Sunday, after working with texts from John 10 and Acts 2, I was reminded of the ways Jesus taught us to grow in our faith, ways that the early church used and also grew! I came to realize that "covid time" is not a wilderness to struggle through, but it can be wilderness time. Wilderness time is a time to regroup, pray, listen, be quiet, study, and allow God to nourish us and help us grow spiritually.
So "covid time" can be Retreat time. It can be a time spent with God, listening for God's voice in scripture and in prayer, breaking bread together, whether virtually with family or friends, or by sharing a porch drop-off meal with a neighbor. In these ways, we acknowledge God's presence with us in all things, and proclaim God's goodness. It's an opportunity to invite others "in" to share our wilderness journey, and to grow together in God's goodness and in faith.
I'm amazed at the resilience of folks, no matter our ages or experience. Many of us have figured out how to do things we never thought we would, and never really wanted to either! We've figured out how to "Zoom" and how to take communion together in our homes and how to live-stream worship and how to run a no-touch, drive-thru food pantry! We've figured out how to do porch drop-offs and pick-ups, store pick-ups, and so much more! I've been overwhelmed by the amount of information folks are sharing about how to do one thing or figure out when we can do another. No one ever expected we'd find oureselves in such a time as this, but we have a God who has equipped us to help and to love one another, and so we do!
These past couple of months have been a strange time, trying to figure out what social distancing is, where we get masks to wear to the store, what worship looks like when we go online, when we ask those who aren't online to call in for worship...and what about those who don't do any of the above? How do we feed the hungry when we aren't supposed to touch or enter personal space with one another?
I'm a wife, mom, pastor, human...probably not in that order. I struggle each day to be faithful to God, to my family and to my call as a Christian and all of those previously-mentioned roles. I pray to be positive, kind and thoughtful, but tend to fall short on all counts. I am inspired by sunrises and enjoy taking pictures (mostly my kids, deer in the yard and sunrises). I waste time playing stupid computer games and wishing I'd been better at all of the aforementioned roles. ;-)