Again this morning I found myself awake, burdened with the worries of the community we share: family challenges, loss of loved ones, experiences of police brutality, cries for justice and equity, a continuing pandemic and increasing death toll, separation from the places and people that we love… and I know I am not alone.
These past 15 weeks have been hard on all of us. We have had to rethink the way we do the most basic things. We’ve limited our outings, had our groceries delivered struggled in learning new technology to stay connected with those we care for.
And then, this morning I read an article that I somehow knew already to be true. Zoom chats short circuit a brain function essential for trust — and that’s bad for business (CBC, June 29th, 2020) It’s not just bad for business – it’s bad for all relationships.
Over these past 15 weeks, we’ve all been trying really hard to keeps things as normal as possible. I’ve been making critical visits to hospitals as I’ve been permitted, reaching out by telephone, doing visits in driveways, responding to requests for meetings and doing my utmost to provide a meaningful experience on Sunday morning – as meaningful as possible over an internet connection, viewed on the screen of a telephone or computer.
This medium, of wire and liquid crystal pixels, fails to capture the longing for connection, the invitation of raised and open eyebrows. Lost in the CAT5 and coax cable, scrambled in the WiFi signal is the vulnerability of people doing the best they can in challenging and difficult situations.
And when we do see each other, mandated to keep six feet apart, the hope for connection in of our faces is lost, the smile of reconnection and grace, hidden behind a mask.
Friends, I remind you again of a phrase that was written on my heart during those years at Springhill: “We are more alike than we are different.” If you are hurting, your neighbour hurts too. If you are worried for your future, your neighbour is worried too. To this wisdom, I would add, “We are stronger together than we are alone – and we are not alone. We belong to God.
It is my hope and prayer, that as we move into what has come to be called an #atlanticbubble, that this experience of togetherness among the provinces, might remind us of the strength that is found in togetherness of all kinds: families, congregations, pastoral charges and communities – and that COVID-19 not be responsible for the erosion of trust at its most basic level.
And friends, when in doubt, let us believe that the other has good will toward us, and good intentions… and when all else fails, may we be kind.
Today I am in the office in meetings til noon then to the hospital for visits this afternoon. Tomorrow I will be working from home as we prepare to welcome a new International Student into our home for the summer.
Wednesday I will be celebrating Canada Day with others in new ways and on Thursday I expect to be out and about doing some driveway visits. I’d love to see you. Drop me a note and I’ll show up when it works for you!
And on Friday I am beginning 10 days away – reading and resting at the cottage. On Saturday I’ll be overjoyed to have family and extended family with us to celebrate my father’s birthday! On Sunday I’ll hopefully see you as part of the the Watch Party at 10AM on Facebook.