This morning I woke up feeling a little edgy and anxious. The day was gloomy; the news wasn’t any better, and my thoughts were racing around like hamsters in a jar before I even opened my eyes. I have to get ready for Sunday I thought (this is only Thursday). I have to figure out how to live-stream and set up my space and on and on and on. After a couple of hours of this I noticed that my dog Elijah was pacing around and panting and I realized, he was picking up on my anxiety. So I did what any good dog mom would do; I put on my tennis shoes, and then off we went for a hike! That’s right. I literally dropped everything and we went for a hike.
As we made our way across a cornfield of stubble, Elijah running ahead joyously and I, slogging through the mud, for the first time all month I began to feel a sense of calm and well-being – something that had been there all along – I had just forgotten where I had left it. I found myself exploring places that I hadn’t been able to access last summer because the fields had been so lush with crops – places I was curious about, but could only try to piece together in my mind. And the further we went, the more settled I became.
When we returned home I calmly went about my tasks and got a nice little worship space set up for our service on Sunday. I experimented with my phone and my tablet and reached a point where I feel confident in the technology. Then I logged on to Facebook wondering what kinds of dreadful news I had missed during my break, but you know, there really wasn’t all that much. Instead what I found were all sorts of posts offering encouragement, laughter, support and love. I don’t know, maybe it was just my particular feed, but I could sense a genuine spirit of good will, and even cooperation. I came across several other pastors who had done live worship last night for Lent, and I marveled at the ease and the beauty of the services.
It brought to mind the Italians singing from their balconies, proclaiming to the world their solidarity and their refusal to give in to despair. Most of us here in the U.S. are not really set up to sing to each other from our balconies, but there we were on our virtual balconies, offering the best of ourselves to each other as we recognized that we are all in this together.
As people of faith, bound together in the Spirit of Love, we are committed to the care of each other – even if only from a distance – and sometimes all it takes is a song to bring a sagging spirit back to life. As we all know, I am no singer, so instead I offer these beautiful words to lift any and all saggy spirits:
“And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested,
And exercised, and made art, and played games,
And learned new ways of being, and were still.
And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some
Prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And in the absence of
People living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and
Heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
And the people joined together again,
They grieved their losses, and made new choices, and
Dreamed new images, and created new ways to live
And heal the earth fully, and they had been healed.”
Grace and Peace to you all,