In the Interim: 3/13/20

terri-burnorWe (in all the ways that we could mean we) are currently in a wild, messy, uncertain, confusing and scary time. The speed of change and the evolution of what we could or need to do is fierce and fast. While the care for our whole selves is always necessary, it feels especially heightened in this very moment of social distancing and potential isolation.

One of our beloved practices on Sunday mornings is to greet each other with hugs, handshakes and high fives. We want to be together. We want the subtle sensations that come with physical presence. Every hour, we learn about events and gatherings in our communities, schools, sporting venues, entertainment zones, and elsewhere are being canceled or postponed. We have to make difficult decisions about vacations, work travel, meals out, what we’re going to do if we’re all stuck at home. We may be worried about loved ones in care facilities and strangers in prisons or out on the streets.

We’re facing both sudden disappointment and deep concern for those most vulnerable. This whole situation is ridiculous and unfair and shedding light on what all is really, truly, ultimately at the heart of things. For that, I am grateful.

We are a resilient people. What can “the now” teach us? How can we let go of “business as usual” and discover the depths of our resiliency, the depths of who we are — together.

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

poem by Lynn Ungar, 3/11/20

Rev. Terri

Each week, the interim ministry team will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme, the state of the church, or the state of the world. MegTerri and Arif will alternate writing this “In the Interim” post. We encourage your comments.

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