This is usually challenging time for all of us. I find myself wishing that I could do more to help, but I really don’t know what I can do. Some of you have been busy making masks or other personal protective equipment, but I don’t know how to sew. I want to help local restaurants stay in business, but there is only so much take out we can order. I know there are people feeling lonely, scared, or simply bored but I can’t go see them and there is only so much we can do with the technology. When there has been an earthquake or a tornado, we can organize a team to do recovery work and I can write a check to UMCOR or the Red Cross. When I see homeless people or hungry people, I can volunteer at the shelter or donate money or help with a feeding program. But in an epidemic, it just doesn’t feel that I am doing enough by just staying home to flatten the curve.
I hope that you are finding ways to stay occupied and in good spirits. It helps to think about good things and the many ways that you are blessed. It helps to pray at various times throughout the day for those who are ill, for those who are working to care for the sick, for those who put themselves at risk each day. We can pray for those who are fearful about getting ill as well as those who have lost income. The time will come when we can do more. For now, we need to do all we can to keep ourselves and others from getting sick.
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) was a mystic and great teacher in the church. One of Teresa’s most famous teachings is a poem known as “Teresa’s Bookmark” that was found in her own prayer book after her death:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing upset you.
God alone is unchanging.
With patience all things are possible.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.
We are all learning something about ourselves and our world during this time. God can be speaking to us about some new ways that we might treasure one another and care for one another.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Steve Larsen