Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
I have not really given you much attention. I probably have not looked at you since the first week of April, but you are still hanging there in my office. I glanced at you by accident this morning, and a wave of sadness came over me. When I put you up, we were both optimistic and enthusiastic. Now you are just hanging there. It should have been your year to shine, yet there you hang, a sad and lonely 2020 calendar. You are all marked up with weddings, vow renewals, graduations, a pastor’s conference, baptisms, meetings, TLC travel pilgrimages and family events. It made me sad to look at you this morning, and to consider what life would have looked like without this pandemic. From March 13th to June 13th the scrawling of a big red sharpie covers the events, hopes, and dreams with the word CANCELLED.
On New Year’s Eve 2019, as we toasted one year and anticipated the next, we never could have imagined that the theme of 2020 would be “Cancelled.”
Our journey in limbo began in March. Near the end of May, there was a glimmer of hope for us; Covid-19 numbers were going down, the Governor was easing restrictions, and Island County seemed to be mostly free from this virus. Memorial Day Weekend arrived in all its pandemic glory, and then George Floyd was killed on the streets of Minneapolis. A heavy burden fell upon our hearts. The sins of our nation’s history came around for a visit, and the winds of change demanded our attention.
We are living in a painful season of limbo. It is nearly impossible to make plans or to predict the direction of the path that is before us. Will there be a second wave? Will the public schools open in the fall? Will college students be able to return to campuses? Will the Trinity Preschool be open this fall? When can we worship together, and what will that worship look like? Will the unemployed be able to find work again?
Living in limbo is not easy. The disruptive nature of this season, combined with the uncertainty of the months ahead, is taking a toll on all of us. We are nearly 100 days into this crisis. If misery loves company, then we may find some comfort in the fact that everyone is suffering. I have heard the anguished cries of those who live alone, how they long for social interaction, for relief from the cabin fever that plagues them. I have heard, too, the anguished cries of those who are spending every day with the ones they love. Loving them and living with them 24-hours a day has put a tremendous strain on family relationships.
Living in limbo is not easy. We grow weary as the red sharpies cancel dates on the calendar. The daily news cycle is depressing. Our essential workers are underpaid and under-appreciated. They show up every day, wearing masks, risking infection, doing their duty, and now experiencing abuse from frustrated customers. We are weary, and going forward, the only certainty is uncertainty.
I thank you all for your cards, emails, well wishes, and patience in this unprecedented time in our shared history. It is good to maintain connections in a time of isolation. At some point, the masks will come off, we will hug and laugh and worship together again. There is very little about this limbo that I am enjoying, but I thank God that we are going through it together.
When will it end? To quote Little Orphan Annie, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun!” May tomorrow come soon.
We are one day closer!
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