by Katy Lloyd
From John 4:1-41
Dear friends, how are you doing? How is it with your soul? How are you coping with adjusting to all the new normals in this time of Corona Virus?
If you’re like me you may have felt your emotions ping-ponging around like a ball in a pinball machine, bouncing from one fear to another. And truth be told, there are many legitimate reasons to feel afraid right now.
I confess that most days I am blind to God’s presence holding all of this together. My eyes are down in the weeds of the latest headline, or wondering how long our food—much less our toilet paper!–will last before we have to go back to the grocery store, or fear about our jobs (which can mean simultaneously being afraid of going back out there to work AND getting laid off), or worrying about the health of family members, friends, co-workers, those living on our streets, those in our prisons, those in senior living facilities, healthcare workers, first responders, and many of you, my dear Welcome Table family.
And so here we are, navigating a time that is full of fear.
Scripture tells us that God is love, and that Perfect Love casts out fear. So in this time of so much fear, how do we connect with that Holy Love, and invite that Love to calm our souls?
Some wise person once said, “Don’t let yesterday and tomorrow rob you of today.”
The truth is all we have—and all we’ve really ever had—is today, here and now, this very moment. God with us, in us, around us, through us, holding us, connecting us.
In the few moments I am present to the here and now, I feel like I can see God. I can rest in Divine Love. Here and now, I am okay. And you are okay. And we are more than okay, because here and now, we are here together. And I feel overwhelmed by gratitude. This gratitude is so powerful that I feel it casting out the fear that has taken up residence in the pit of my stomach, and replacing it with a sense of warmth, and wellbeing, and love. Right now, I invite you to take a moment to breathe in gratitude, and breathe out the fear. Gratitude in, fear out.
For Lent we are asking that beautiful question from Mary Oliver’s poem: What will you do with your one wild and precious life? With this one wild and precious day? This one wild and precious moment? This bird in the tree branch; that grasshopper in the grass; this baby, held in her parent’s arms? All the moments held together by a creative force of love so big and pervasive and all-suffusing that it’s like the air we breathe, and we don’t even see it most days?
I for one am so deeply grateful that you and I and Spirit have chosen to be in Communion together. I can’t literally see you, but I can see you through the love of God connecting us in the Spirit.
To close I offer this song that Liz Lang and I sing in our Threshold Choir and which we have sung to many folks at the bedside. Usually we sing it using the “A” word, but since it’s Lent we’ll use “Hosanna” instead. The words are,
“In this moment, there is love.
There is love.”