Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…  

Pretty much every day for the past 34 years I have come to church wearing a tie or a clerical collar. I have more than a hundred ties, some of them attractive. I always figured that if someone took the time to come see me, then I was going to look presentable, might I say even professional. It was a simple way of honoring their presence in my office. The other practical realization was that I never knew when I would be called to a hospital or a nursing home. Clerical collars provide an almost instant access to patients. Ties are the next best thing. In fact, once I had a nurse follow me into a patient’s room. It made me a little nervous, but then she said, “Would you like to see the notes, Doctor?”

At some level this three-decades long tradition died on Friday the 13th of March. That was the day that we closed our campus to visitors. For a few days I kept wearing ties, but it soon dawned on me that this crisis was not going to end anytime soon, and no one came to see me all day. I have tried to keep my daily routine as normal as possible. Wake up at 5:30, shower, arrive at the office by 6:30, eat my oatmeal at 9:00, and work. An evening walk with Felicia and Kelsi would allow me to get my 10,000 steps in. And that is the way it has been every day since March 13th.

This morning as I walked to my closet, I looked at my ties. They had been in quarantine. They needed no mask as they had not been out in a very long time. It occurred to me then, that at some level, I was letting this virus get the best of me. I needed to make a statement. Not to the people who were coming to visit me, because no one was coming. I needed to make a statement to myself. I needed a “team meeting” with me. I needed to wear a tie as a sign that life will return to normal. The tie would serve as a colorful reminder that this virus will not defeat us.

Be of good courage my friends. Do not lose heart. Keep a daily routine. Get up, take a shower, take a walk, say your prayers, eat on a regular schedule, get out of those sweatpants, and put on a tie. Remind yourself that this will end. Remind yourself that darkness always gives way to light. Remind yourself that you are not alone. We are all in this together, and God is in this with us.

We are one day closer to the end of this crisis, and I wore a tie today.

Much love,

Pastor Jim

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