As the days drag on, the earth bursts forth in beauty. I find my heart ricocheting between savoring the now and worrying about the future. So I thought today we could sit back and notice the signs of hope around us and within us.
- Volunteerism is up. Applications to volunteer in New York City rose from 2,400 applications last March to 6,500 this March, a 288 percent increase.
- A creative resilience has arisen among us. During this “shut down” God’s work has “ramped up” and our church’s mission and ministry has thrived.
- More people are worshipping. At our church and at many other churches, attendance has doubled. We seek the divine who is always seeking us.
- Depth. Psalm 42 says “deep calls to deep.” We are asking deeper questions about life, faith, the world, seeking life’s deeper meaning rather than racing through our days on a surface level.
- Inside ourselves we are discovering strength we didn’t know we had. I have discovered how to run! Others have discovered how to teach home school, cook, or make it through the day without going to a bar.
- Community. As we shelter in place we have realized the critical nature of communing with others in person and we long for dinner parties, church on the front lawn, or singing in the choir, but meanwhile we stand in the driveway and talk with our neighbors and zoom around the country to connect our souls with others.
- Less polarization and more partnership. News sources tell us that most Americans agree on big policy decisions such as the stimulus money and social distancing. We are more united for the first time in a long time.
- Less reliance on stuff. With the stores closed many are realizing we have enough and we don’t need more stuff to make us happy.
- Imagination. Many are dreaming not of going “back” to our old life but creating a new world for all God’s children to live in that is even better than the one we knew before.
- Intimacy. When you talk to the same small handful of folks every day, you move past the surface chatter to share the longings of the heart and to reveal the beauty and fragility of the human soul.
Not for one nanosecond do I believe that God would send a pandemic upon the earth but I wholeheartedly believe that even in this brokenness, signs of Christs living hope abound!
Grace and Peace,