Musing 7.24.20

PASTOR JOHN’S MUSING 7.24.2020

God, I thought it would be over by now.
      In March, I thought we would be back in church,
               back in school,
               back at work,
               back in restaurants,
               back in stores,
               back with family and friends.
               back watching baseball and soccer in person.
       In March, I thought by now masks would be
                     only for goalies, catchers, and football players.
I thought “new normal” was a trendy phrase
                     and temporary plans were that:  temporary.
God, now I am not sure.
     This drags on and shows signs
                    not of waning, but of waxing.
God, it is not like a hurricane or tornado
      which in all its destruction is over
                   and  leaves us for our rebuilding.
God this is like a drought or famine, lingering.
      It is silent and just slowly grinds away
                    wears us down,
                    exhausts us.
We don’t know what rebuilding looks like.
We suffer a drought of physical presence,
                                     of touch,
                                     of community,
                                     of activity,
                        a famine of confidence,
                                     of hope.
God, at this time, I don’t know what to call you.
Titles feel like wishful thinking or clichés or schmoozing.
God of Love doesn’t quite work,
I like “God of Pandemic.”  As in,
“God of Pandemic, you didn’t cause this,
          but you are present in it.”
It acknowledges you and it.
God of Pandemic, we have tried Zoom.
           We have binged Netflix.
           We have gorged on MSNBC and FOX.
           They don’t satisfy.
Have we tried you, God of Pandemic?
We recall the stories of the Hebrews in the wilderness.
The story of their dying of thirst.
You instruct Moses to strike the rock.
Water flows from the rock.
The story of their dying of hunger.
You provide manna every morning.
These stories have been more metaphorical than literal.
Maybe that is not the point.
Maybe the point is turning to you.
Maybe the point is believing in Jesus
               as the Living Water and the Bread of Life.
I could not live in the despair of drought and famine.
I could live with manna, living water and bread.
God of Pandemic, your presence turns despair to hope.
God of Pandemic, I don’t know if this is a prayer.
It is more of a musing.
God of Pandemic, thanks for listening.
It makes a difference.
May it be so.