Have I always stayed at home? Will I ever really know what time it is - or what day it is again? I do feel like I am finding some good in this great “Pause”. The other day I experienced a new thing at the grocery store; I can now navigate the one-way aisles with relative ease and I have learned to slow my pace for the others who are traveling in the same direction. I realize that I am not in a hurry. I found myself at the dairy case, watching a woman who was parked in front of the door I needed. She was studying her list. She moved a couple of inches and studied the refrigerated case. She opened the door, shut the door, again looked at her list. Eventually she selected her milk, shut the door again and began to notice the arrows on the floor around her. She then noticed that I was standing about 6 feet away and looking at the milk. She apologized for blocking my access. I replied that there was no problem as no one is in a hurry anymore. She thanked me and revealed that she hadn’t been in a store for months and was feeling nervous and lost. I assured her that folks should be patient and kind because we’ve had a huge pause to remember that we need to be mindful of others. We parted with me saying: “Take your time, we’ll all get what we need. Stay well!” and I marveled that just a few months ago I would have had very different and less patient thoughts running through my head.
Later that day, I read this on FaceBook: “You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill coffee? You spilled coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in your cup, you would have spilled tea. The point is whatever is inside the cup will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which will happen) whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it until you get rattled. So, we have to ask ourselves, “What is in my cup?” When life gets tough, what spills out? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or does anger, bitterness and harsh words and reactions come out? You choose! Today let’s work on filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness and love for others.”
Then I began to sing a camp song: Bass part Soprano part
O fill my cup - Fill my cup let it overflow
O fill my cup - Fill my cup let it overflow
O fill my Cu uuu uuu uuup
Let it overflow with Love!
May the Lord fill your cup to overflow with Love!
Blessings, Pastor Kristi
I am really feeling the isolation. I thought nice weather would help. Now, I grab the shopping carts that have been outside and exposed to the sun’s UV rays. The other difference nice weather brings - I walk the dog more. Tonka is exhausted! My legs ache. I long to see people and to sit and chat around a table - any table - in a house, a park, a restaurant…
There is a lot of talk about reopening and phases and questions about whether or not we should move on the Governor’s schedule, or throw open the doors for any who are willing to come. I am reminded of that time when some friends of mine were among the first to be tested in Saratoga county - not too long after we had spent the day with them (Saturday) and the following day (Sunday) I had hugged or shaken the hand of EVERYONE in the building. Some ask if we are letting fear rule our lives. My answer is - it already has and I never want to repeat that! While that family tested negative, I personally know of 3 cases (1 fatality) in our neighborhoods from 3 different families and 3 different neighborhoods: a teenager and 2 dads. Sometimes we can think that it isn’t real if we don’t know someone who has it (locally) or maybe it is real but hasn’t really reached this area. This virus is in this area.
I have made about 150 masks (I still have a supply if you are in need), I have been shopping for others (call, e-mail, or messenger me on FB if you would like assistance) and I have been making drop offs at City Mission and Street Soldiers of Schenectady. These are the ways that I am trying to find a way to contribute help to communities in crisis. In terms of church life - I have joined Facebook (reluctantly), I have learned to video messages and upload them and send them for web posting (still don’t know how to post audio only), and I have participated in a few video meetings with the District and local clergy. I am planning to learn how to host a video meeting. I have found that more people connect to Alplaus electronically than when we were only doing physical gatherings! Does that mean that Facebook posting should continue? I don’t know. I do know that I have encountered new folks via Facebook and I look forward to meeting them in person when we are able!
This message is a long way of saying - while I miss everyone, I understand the need to protect others. I long to gather in person for worship and I celebrate the extended reach of our worship through the internet. I have no special knowledge about this virus or what the future will bring, but I also know that I can find a faithful way to contribute to whatever comes our way. I know that while I am feeling the isolation like a weight around my neck, the love of Christ fills (and warms) my heart and motivates me to know that we are each an important part of the body.