Along the Road to Amazing
It is Sunday afternoon, so a confession today seems appropriate. We are headed into Week 9 of stay-at-home in our house, and my confession is this: I am screen weary. Not just weary. Exhausted.
When we got the official stay-at-home order, I imagined that this time was going to be just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing. I was wrong. Pre-COVID, I already spent most of my workday on GoToMeeting (Zoom, equivalent). The lines between work and personal life are starting to blur as we all conduct all it on screens. I am grateful for a job that can be done from home, do not get me wrong, but that does not mean I love every minute of it. Pre-COVID, it was easier to draw some boundaries between online work and the rest of my life. Easier to compartmentalize the two. I could shut the computer down for the evening. But, now, we have got Zoom doctor appointments, Zoom track meetings, Zoom board meetings, even Zoom family gatherings. I am grateful for all the ways we are able to keep our lives moving forward, but the screen is always open.
I have been working on this post for weeks. In my mind, it starts with, “I am an epidemiologist.” I imagined it becoming a companion piece to “How Can She Call Herself a Christian?” a post I wrote for the GPPC blog FIVE years ago (how can that have been 5 years ago, already). I have been imagining a post that asks the reverse: “how can she call herself a scientist and have faith in something she cannot prove?” It was going to be amazing. Maybe it still will be, like a lot of things…just not right now. I think I am still observing and gathering evidence, for now. Continuing to listen for the still, small voice that will help me write about my faith as a scientist. I promise, I will keep you posted.
Until then, there are things from this time that I am grateful for, things that I hope we will keep: the connectedness, the conversations, the laughter, the kindness, the slower pace, the cleaner air, the bluer skies, simplicity. These are all wonderful things, but I do long for the day when we can all sing “Peace Be With You” in the sanctuary together. To hear all our voices together—now THAT is going to be amazing.
Kimberly Carswell May 3, 2020
It's been 14 years since she died, my friend Robin. She was a longtime member of our church and left to be with her mother and sisters in Massachusetts (and her Episcopalian roots) when she was 54 years old. She became a beloved leader in her local church and yet, at the age of 56, found herself suffering from an incurable cancer. We lost her on a warm June day and many of us who knew and loved her miss her still.
But the one thing that Robin left with me beyond all reckoning was the idea that we who are Christian do a lot more dealing with the in-between times of our lives - between the hell of Good Friday and the joy of Easter - than we would perhaps like to admit. Saturday, Robin said, between Good Friday and Easter is that time when we lay low, or at least the church is supposed to. We wait in fear and trembling trepidation, even though we know - now - that Jesus rose from the dead and claims for us life everlasting. But the disciples did not go towards that Sunday morning with anything other than fear and despair. In these uncertain times, I think our lives are much more like theirs: we, too, are often torn between fear and hope in this in-between time: between the death-dealing of Covid-19 and the knowledge that our immediate future is uncertain at the very least. And we wonder if our lives shall ever be able to return "normal."
I hope each of us on this in-between Saturday will think seriously about how we manage all our other in-between days and think seriously about investing more in hope rather than despair, for hope and faith have been given to us through our life in Jesus Christ Our Lord, and by God's grace.
Lindsey March April 11, 2020
This will be a Lent I will long remember, but not for the pandemic or the economy or the political situation our country is currently going through, but, rather, as the year I think I finally “got” Lent.
Before, I sort of paid attention to the fact that it was the Lenten season… at least as much as the hustle and bustle of my everyday life would let me. Before, I went through Holy Week doing what I was supposed to do, had always done… but not really thinking about what it all meant.
This year I have been forced into a quiet reverie… I have had to give up a lot of things and then think deeply about whether they were things I had ever really needed. I have had the gift of time to read, meditate, pray, sing… time that I never allowed myself before. I have spent time on my back patio just looking at and listening to nature, the unusual quietness of the neighborhood allowing me the space to breathe and hear. I have been so moved (to tears on many occasions)by the amazing music by Doug and countless others who have posted on line, by the many and thought provoking ways that Carla has ministered to us and, finally, a highlight of my day has been listening to books read by Caitlyn. I have loved having the time to catch up and keep up with friends and family near and far away… to be connected in a way that I haven’t been in a long time.
This social isolation is not something that I hope goes on much longer, but for me at least, it has been a deep breath in and a long exhale.
Sally Molencamp April 11, 2020