How are you holding up? Seriously, I want to know.
Maybe you’re like me where some days feel good but other days you’re on the very edge of losing your temper. Maybe your kids are like mine as they swing from being self contained to in need of constant supervision. Maybe you slept well last night or maybe it was one of the nights where you were awake from 3-4:30 for no apparent reason. Yes, I’ve done that too.
Maybe today you’re doing okay, but tomorrow? Who knows.
Friends, it’s okay not to be okay. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve successfully established a new order only to be surprised just a moment later to realize you can’t concentrate. You’re in good company when you’ve lost track of the day or when you feel a surge of impatience. It’s okay to worry about your grandparents or grandchildren and about the economy too.
Your mixed up emotions and needs and fears? They’re normal. In fact, I don’t think what we’re feeling right now is that far removed from our everyday experience. The difference is that our pace of life has slowed and we’re left with less distractions. We are, now, alone with our thoughts (and possibly with the thoughts of teenage boys depending on your household). The shadows of old grief mixed with new worry sometimes overtake us. And, that is normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I like it or that it’s easy.
But the pinging between emotions, the examination of old wounds, the questions echoing in our minds – it’s normal. I mean, look to the Bible if you don’t believe me.
Take Moses! He goes from prince to fugitive in short order and when God calls him to free the people from salvery in Egypt, well, Moses has second thoughts to say the least! He argues with God (good luck with that). He worries about his qualifications and tries to get out of doing what God tells him. But God is there with presence and purpose.
Or, Queen Esther. She was a common woman with uncommon beauty who ended up marrying the King. She was hesitant to sound the alarm against an unjust leader. She tried convincing herself that if she personally was okay then everyone would be okay. But she couldn’t shake the call to act, to speak out for God’s people.
You can even look at Jesus who, in the Garden of Gethsemane, prays that this “cup,” the suffering and death at hand, will pass. Seriously, even Jesus bounces from commitment to questioning!
But it’s in these scenes of Jesus at the end of his life where I, for one, find comfort. I look to the cross and see it empty – not because Jesus found a loophole in this life to avoid pain. No, the cross is empty because Jesus died there. He died and was buried and rose again. Jesus, who is God with us, Jesus does not give up on us, on our experience. Jesus doesn’t save himself from our sin. Jesus doesn’t hide himself from our suffering. Jesus stays.
And Jesus stays with us now, too. Because that’s who God is: present and abiding, loving and working for our good. Too often, we mistake God for a genie holding back on wishes we’re entitled to and getting angry with God because life is hard. But the cross of Jesus isn’t a good luck charm, as some would have it. It’s a compass guiding us into a relationship with the one who creates and loves us.
Jesus loves you, dear ones. Jesus loves you in all your worry and your wonder. Jesus loves you when you can’t sleep and on the days you can’t stay awake. Jesus loves you and as we live in this strange time, rest assured, Jesus is with us because that is who Jesus is. Simple. Profound.
Jesus loves you. And I do too.
Good Samaritan Fund
As these days of quarantine and not working continue, please keep in mind that Trinity has a Good Samaritan Fund to help people – you! – with bills. Please know if you need any help, you can contact Pastor Amy who keeps all names confidential. We’re able to make a one time payment $250 toward a bill you may have. Please, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Amy. We want to help our Trinity family too.
Thanks to all who have recently donated to the Good Samaritan Fund.
Property Ministry Team
There are somethings around Church property that the Property Ministry Team could use some help with. Sue Bradley and Scott have cleaned up a few things, but here are some other things that would help:
The Adams street house yard has become a bit overgrown. There are bushes that need to be cut back and thinned.
There is an abandoned pond on the property and should probably be removed.
There are some tools under the church inside the little doorway across from the back parking lot.
Someone may be spreading weed/feed soon.
If you have any questions, and can help, please contact Sue Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org and Alan Cook.
PRAYERS REQUESTED FOR…..Judy Almquist, Marsha Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Nick Bee, Doris Carmichael, Linda Doerr, Kim Hannan, Renee Jensen, Ben Jung, Ron Kemmerling, Bob Kyle, Phyllis Lang, Dan Morrow, Pam Nicholas, Debbie Pierce, Tom Pomraning, Tim Sawyer, Denny Stark, Shelley Scheurm, Ruth Smithback, Karen Weber, Donna Weeks, Donald Zuehlke and those we name silently in our hearts.
Click here for the Daily Faith Practices week 5 from ELCA.