Pastor’s Sue’s Letter For April 2020
Last Thursday I recorded a sermon for Sunday worship at Zion. This is what a faithful church looks like right now; empty buildings, but people full of compassion for their neighbors. While it was strange to preach to an empty room, I was filled with a sense of the vibrant community represented by each seat. It reminded me of a poem I read this week. My favorite line: “Like the Italians singing from their balconies with neighbors, we are all notes of the same song.”
There are so many layers to what this Covid-19 means for everyday life. I’ve been reflecting and praying each day on another aspect or layer. This morning in prayer I began to think about all the different ways individuals are affected. There has been a lot of attention of course on the physical health consequences, the societal impact, the economic impact, but not so much on the emotional and mental health effect.
Just thinking about all the triggers makes me shutter: Despair, hopelessness, decreased job security, loneliness of self-quarantining, increased health anxiety, social withdrawal, fear for loved ones, a mindset switch from “living” to “survival.” Quarantine makes it more difficult to distract one’s self from existing mental health issues.
Unfortunately, it looks like the situation is getting worse and will continue to (at least short- term). This is why is way too important to not acknowledge the need to care for each other, even if it’s from a distance. We can get through this together.
And lastly, I’ll close with words from the introduction to the Wilderness Lent devotion from A Sanctified Art: “We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully, through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is no wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love. In the wilderness our faith is born, nurtured, challenged, and resurrected. May it be so for you this season.”