Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head.
As a pastor, I fell into the habit of raising my son on analogies. He gently called me out on it once and I realized he was right and had hammered the nail without splitting the wood. Well…you get my point. I’ve never been really good with having too much time to think. There aren’t too many straight lines in my brain. Everything requires three lefts, one trip around the rotary, and at least two tries at parallel parking an idea before I can do anything with it. Now imagine me locked away with myself in the parsonage for weeks with nothing but time to think on my hands. I’m not lonely; I’m just terribly annoyed having to listen to myself think out loud. I now understand what my ex-wife must have gone through. For all of those reasons, I’m going to download a few random thoughts for you…and for me. Some will fall on deaf ears (there I go again!!) but I’ve got to clear out some of the clutter.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: My ears are pretty streamline. They sit tight against my head, sort of like a hippo. The mask I keep in my car is a wee bit too tight, so it pulls my ears away from my head and I look like Alfred E. Newman. Add to that the mask itself that covers my nose and mouth, and the near buzz cut I got before the world changed, and I’m nearly unrecognizable when I go grocery shopping. It comes in handy when I jump in front of them and grab that last roll of toilet paper.
MIXED MESSAGE?: I posted a message on Facebook the other evening, thinking pastorally about those who might be lonely and afraid. I wrote, “Hey…who needs a call?” Nearly 20 people reached out to me asking if I was OK. I guess asking TO help is pretty much the same as asking FOR help.
HERO WORSHIP: I’ve always been quietly respectful at sporting events these past 20 years when teams would bring out men and women who served in the military and had us honor them as heroes. But I’ve often wondered [under my breath] if there weren’t other heroes that we are leaving in the shadows because they weren’t “going to war.” I’m hoping that once this “invisible war” we’re fighting against this hideous and deadly virus is over, we can invite to the center of our sporting events and honor all those nurses, doctors, EMTs, hospital janitors, farm workers, grocery clerks, and anyone else who risked their lives so that the rest of us had a chance to survive. I will gladly take my hat off to them, and then shed a quiet tear for those who sacrificed their lives for the rest of us. “There is no greater love, than to than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” John 15:13
SPARE CHANGE: This time three months ago, I wasn’t holding church meetings on Zoom, playing Hollywood Squares with our Bible Study Group (I’ll take Bonnie Anderson in the center square for the win!”), using a Talk Show format during Worship and having people call in to win a roll of toilet paper, preaching from everywhere BUT the pulpit, using remote scripture readers, allowing Gwen to turn the back of the church into a Kiddie Korner for Children’s Sermons, and handing over responsibility of displaying our entire worship content on a weekly basis nationwide to a bright and talented teenager [bless you BT!]. Does the church still have any problems with change? I swear, we’d be sadly and tragically out of our minds if we blindly went back to doing things exactly the way we used to! That precious jar of perfumed nard has been broken wide open, and its sweet sweet scent is everywhere… (look up the biblical reference for yourself on that one).
AND FINALLY…Public worship, programs and meetings will all continue to take place online. However, the Holy Spirit still has no restrictions, and neither does the love of Christ or the power of God. Be sure to get as close to all three as you need until further notice. Stay safe and be well. God bless you and yours until we meet again….
in the spirit,