By Lynn Unger
What you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath –the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down.
And, when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surly, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly where we cannot touch.
Promise the world your love – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Here we are in unknown times which adds to anxiety, fear, and worry. Yet, in the midst of struggle and concern, I see people coming together. It’s a small gesture of bringing community together, but a neighbor in my neighborhood sent out a note Tuesday night on Facebook to encourage neighbors to put Shamrocks on our doors. The Shamrocks were put on doors to encourage families to go outside and try to find them and count them. Several families did go outside and as the children were carefully keeping count of the shamrocks, I saw retired neighbors waving at families from the window. Neighbors reaching out their hearts in care for one another.
I have been working from home these days because I have been sick. Fortunately, we live in a time where we can be in contact with one another through our technology. Technology can get in our way from connecting with one another, but we are discovering that technology used in the right way can bring us together. It warmed my heart to see our community of faith and beyond engage in the worship service on Sunday from home. As Pr. Paul finished a prayer, Amens popped up on the screen. After he said, “The peace of Christ be with you.” “Also with yous” popped up on my screen. The group online shared the sign of peace and shared their heart in a new way. It was community! It was good!
In our gospel reading this Sunday, we hear about a man that was blind and through Jesus he is healed. But, here’s the thing, their fear distracted them from seeing the good that was being done through God. They are so distracted in how the blind man gained his sight that they lost sight that this is good.
My prayer for you is that you will promise your love to the world in this time of pandemic. Even in this unknown time that you work to see the good that is happening. My prayer is also that if you feel overwhelmed or in need, please call, email, or text. Our staff and the Thoughts, Prayers, and Action Group are here for you to share their hearts to help. Together we are much better, especially, when we lean into our faith. Amen.