Spring in Minnesota is such a wonderful time. The days of long darkness become long in light. The browns turn to bright green. We start with many layers of clothing and then can shed the down jackets and wools for a fleece or…shirt sleeves! Patios become populated with tables, chairs, and grills; on my block, swings, bikes, and basketball hoops are being put to good use. Life seems almost normal.
But it’s Sunday morning and I am not going to church. House of Hope is now pre-recording our services so we can add more to them, while working in small numbers. This is not the first Sunday that I’ve stayed home, but it is disturbing for two reasons. The first is that it is the fulfillment of the dreams I’ve had since seminary when I get to church with plenty of time, but realize I don’t have my robe or sermon and as I head toward my office, I end up walking miles through all kinds of terrain to try to get there and back to the narthex. Sometimes I can hear the organ start and other times I get back in the middle of the service. It is a classic, forgot-to-study-for-the-test dream motif!
But in reality, it is heartbreaking that we are not able to physically gather to worship. While our livestream is a joy and gift, there is still grief. Continuing to see folks on Zoom is a gift, but there is still grief. Doing our grief work is important. Marking our losses, allowing the feelings that come with them helps us stay balanced and strong. It takes a good deal more energy to hold them all in and try to tamp them down than it does to keep releasing them with the catharsis of tears, journaling, an art project, or conversation. Or writing for this blog post.
Sharing the ups and downs is important, that’s what will get us through. You are welcome to contribute here by emailing a post or message to Malinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the ancient peoples said, My God watch between us while we are apart, one from the other.