As your pastor I want to be strong. But I would be lying if I told you have not had some sleepless nights and some melt-down moments. At times my heart feels full and I know for certain that we will emerge stronger at the end of this. But at other times I doubt like everyone else. Like all of you, I hear myself asking
How long, O Lord? . .. How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? Psalm 13:1-2
When you called me three years ago to serve as your pastor, I promised to engage in the three P’s: Preach, Pray, Pastoral Care of our staff and church leaders. All three of those tasks needed to be reinvented in the last two weeks as we shifted from classrooms, boardrooms and sanctuaries to zoom rooms, phones and streams. Heavy on my heart has been how to fairly compensate those who are unable to work from home such as our loyal and faithful cleaning crew, child care workers, preschool teachers. We have some of the best people anywhere on the planet and I want them to have food on their tables and I want to keep them with us for the future we share.
But even as I worry, little miracles keep rising up everywhere. Unexpected donations, pre-paid pledges and kind notes continue to show up, lifting our spirits. The staff have gone to extraordinary lengths to make budget cuts. Many staff members worked through their vacation days and throughout their weekends to get us ready for this next phase. They have bubbled over with genius ideas about how to serve, connect, love and reach out in this unsettling season.
But overall what I have noticed is a change in tone. Have you noticed it too? We speak to each other with a different tone of voice. There is a deep underlying sense of care for each other. How is your family? How are you feeling? How are your spirits? Be it with a neighbor whose name we do not know, a colleague we work with daily or a church member we share a pew with, we have come to see again that God’s divine life pulses in between us and bids us love and care for one another.