Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…  

I had an Aunt who always used to say, “It could be worse.” It was a way of staying positive in the midst of circumstances that were not positive; perhaps even disruptive or painful. Look on the bright side. The house and its contents have been consumed by the fire, but fires provide job security for firefighters. Keep your chin up Jim; it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

It could be worse. Of course, it could always be worse. If we look around, we can always find someone who is worse off, and we can find someone who is better off. Saying that “it could be worse” is helpful, to a point. It does put current challenges and circumstances in perspective, but it does not really acknowledge the grief and disappointment that is present.

On March 13th we decided that it was no longer safe to gather for corporate worship. But it could be worse. At least the church would remain open for Bible Study and fellowship. By March 18th we had entirely closed our campus. All church groups and community groups were canceled because of Covid-19. Schools were closed; young people missed their friends, and college students came home. But it could be worse. Just think where we would be without ZOOM. But it could be worse. At least people were working and the economy was good. No worries, the President said that we would be back in worship by Easter – we weren’t. But it could be worse. We had May 17th circled on our calendars. That Sunday has long passed, and we are still not worshiping together. After years of very little family time, families quarantined and everyone stayed home. It has been interesting realizing that we are related to these people. But there was an upside of quarantine; we were all in it together, people smiled more. Until the masks came out and then the smiles were gone. There was an upside of quarantine; the price of gas went down, the environment was happy, the animals came back, there was no traffic through Seattle, the streets were empty. The streets were empty until they were full of protesters, rioters, looters, law enforcement, and the national guard. But it could have been worse, right?

It could have been worse. We have been able to pass the days and nights of quarantine on Whidbey Island. We have been able to walk the beaches and see magnificent sunsets and revel in the sunshine of the longest days of the year. It could have been worse. Whidbey Island has been mostly disease-free since April, and we have been kept safe by our health care workers, first responders, and our amazing essential workers. Our church staff has switched gears and we are worshiping and sharing Holy Communion online. More people than ever before are listening, reading, and worshiping with us. More people than ever before have put themselves in the path of the Gospel. Thanks be to God. Yes, we have so much to be thankful for. We are in this together, and we will gather together again.

YES, it could have been worse – just think about it – the ferries could have stopped running on weekends!

One day closer.
Pastor Jim

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