Driving between the painted lines
on the old tree lined highway
lead us back to our hometown
where everybody knows our name
and welcomes us as they think we are.
Following jagged lines of carts
in the market lead us to
cheery faced checkers and helpful
sackers of crunchy apples, breads, and
blessed nourishment of all sorts.
Following lines of humans into
this vaccination clinic
we release fear and all but
boogie in the awareness that
soon we’ll revel in your lovely smile.
Following twin lines from seats on pews
hearts soften and hands form a bowl,
preparing spaces to be transformed
through the Holy Sacrament.
Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation.
Following lines now and again
draws us into sacred circles
swirling with hope for global
delightful flowing breath.
Scripture: Psalm 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”
We have completed week three of a four-week book study by Diana Butler Bass entitled Grateful. What the group wisdom has taught me is that no matter how much a person suffers, even at a young age, it is how it is acknowledged and framed that affects how a person lives their life. For example, some who have childhood memories of traumatic injuries are able to see them with a sense of gratefulness. Because God saved their life, there must be a greater purpose in living for God.
I believe that parents, friends, and the church at large, have a role in helping a person grow beyond victimhood and into strength while living a life of intention. Although it is vital to empathize with someone’s pain, praying with them for acceptance of what is, and then to keep moving is also essential. Eventually, when the state of gratitude is reached for the life one is given, and the lessons one has learned, a new outlook is formed.
Moreover, we have common experiences as humans that bond us together; driving on a highway, standing in line in the grocery store, and… coming to you soon…is a vaccination clinic! Last week Rev. Stephanie called to inform me that there was a vaccination clinic and that pastors were eligible to go. This was totally unexpected and took a minute to soak in. After all I’d heard from others, nervousness passed over me. And the experience was really good! The kindness of the nurses and the National Guard was remarkable. We almost had to ask the nurse, “Are you done already? It hardly hurt at all.” We made sure to keep our inoculated arm in motion so that the minor discomfort wouldn’t set it for long.
Amazing God, we give you thanks for the scientists, the human guinea pigs, and all who vaccinate willing participants. We ask for your comfort to be upon those who have lost family members and friends, and those still affected by the disease.
Loving God, we praise you for signs of hope and transformation received when we receive Holy Communion and in everyday experiences. We pray for courage, strength, and patience to continue good health practices that will keep us safer and breathing easier as we care for one another in new ways. One in the Spirit of Christ we pray, Amen.
We behold you in God’s loving embrace, who held our souls before we were created and whose love is eternal.
Rev. Marta Wheeler