We have experienced a lot of loss over the past three months. Lost opportunities. Lost time with people we love. Lost events and plans. For my family, it has been the loss of end of the school year fun and a tradi-tional graduation, the loss of summer travel plans, and the loss of usual routines that comfort us. You and your family have lost things too, and we all grieve these losses. But what might we be gaining?
In the spirit of Philippians 4:8, let’s spend some time thinking about what is right and lovely and excel-lent in our lives. When the news is full of so much heartache and anxiety, we need to remind ourselves of blessings in God’s good world, blessings that transcend the current crisis or even result from the challenges we are facing.
For example, we have been forced to rely more heavily on technology than many of us may like, and yet we have found Zoom, FaceTime and sermons on YouTube to be pretty useful and even adequate as tempo-rary replacements for real life. It has been fun to see and talk with our church family during our Sunday morn-ing online Fellowship Times. I may not enjoy preaching into a camera, but our recorded worship services have reached most of our church plus a few people who have never physically been to Broadway. The technology isn’t perfect, but it has helped keep us connected.
We have also been blessed by more time at home. We might be going a bit stir crazy at this point, but for most of us, our homes are places of safety and comfort. If we have to be quarantined somewhere, at least we are at home. For some, that also means being with our family more. I get to see our kids more (maybe more than they would like!), and with limited out-of-the-house options, we have learned new ways to have fun as a family.
Along these lines, many people have also been forced to slow down. For busy, productive people, it has been hard to adjust to a slower pace of work and life, but that can also be refreshing. It’s okay to rest and let go of some burdens for a while. Maybe it will be good for you to shorten your to-do-list and not feel guilty about things you haven’t gotten done.
We have also learned new ways, and perhaps rediscovered some old ways, to care for people around us. There have been notes of encouragement sent through the mail, and phone calls “just to see how you are doing.” Our church family has served one another in creative ways, like delivering groceries and making face masks. We have used our time apart to find new ways to stay together, and the Holy Spirit has been active among us in ways we might not have noticed before.
This time has been marked by worry and disruption, but it has also been marked by generosity and compassion. Our church has proven once again that we know how to give in times of need. Not only has our church budget been well-supported, but we have also, individually and as a church, helped others in need. God is providing for us and enabling us to be generous toward others