Frozen In Amber

I am pleased to say that the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees and the rain has started. I was reading our church newsletter this afternoon and I was taken aback when I read that we are soon to have our six month anniversary of Zoom church. Of course Zoom church is a direct result of our 2020 pandemic. I feel certain that when we began our virtual worship services we thought that two or three months would be a long time! Jonathon and I were talking and commiserated over the fact that the danger of covid-19 is worse now, in our area of the country, than when we were on lock down in March. Pastor Kerry has done outstanding work in keeping our congregation connected!

Reality bites…and throughout our planet we have felt the pain of the teeth of the Coronavirus! We have had our reality altered…and our opinion was not sought in the changes made. Are we living in the rare time in history that what we have known and become accustomed to is morphing into a new world that we have neither anticipated or prepared for?

Covid is not a hoax. I know people who have contracted the virus and who have died! When we batter our heads against a brick wall…something is going to break…and it is not the wall. There is a wise saying, ‘patience preserves your soul.’ Never has there been a more golden opportunity for patience and perseverance and solemn contemplation about life and our place in it. We are preparing to vote in a presidential election where the stakes could not be greater. We Americans love the concept of democracy…in theory…but when it comes to practicing it…our application of demonstrating our love for the Constitution could be likened to Earth 1 and its mirror image…Earth 2! Democracy is a lofty concept and a difficult proposition to fulfill. It relies on how many of our fellow citizens want to participate in what is a government of the people!

The church is changing. Most major denominations are diminiishing in a time of several worldwide challenges. We can either examine how we have done things for generations, or we can seek new outreaches to God’s family of humans. One of the captivating components of First Presbyterian Church is its dedication to mission and outreach and helping others. People are lonelier than ever. We hunger for someone who cares about us and has time to listen to our concerns and help dissipate our fears.

Hope is a tangible commodity in our day of uncertainty. The stark division is race relations will never be ameliorated by soaring rhetoric and political promises…but it can start with you and your outreach to one other person from another race. Listen to the description of an African American mother as she describes how she feels every time her teenage son is not within her eyesight. With all of the fear that is expressed by members of my own race as regarding peaceful protestors…who is being killed… Try this thought experiment…if you have the courage…each time that the unwarranted death of a black youth seems warranted to you…or you ask…’What did they do to cause their death,’…place the apples of your eye…your children in the role of the deceased black youth…and rationalize their untimely death… Protests are disconcerting…and that is their role….to wake up the hierarchal power structure to say…LOOK OVER HERE…SOMEONE IS DYING THAT DID NOTHING TO DESERVE IMMEDIATE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!

I just learned of another of my old friends dying of covid-19. Scott was a wonderful gentleman and a person that I admired! MJ and I enjoyed a visit with Scott and Kim several years ago when we were all attending a Physical Plant convention in Montreal, Canada. These are people that I liked and felt a connection with from the moment that we met. Scott was an easy person to talk with and he had a ready smile and an understanding heart.

Have you ever seen a object that has been trapped in amber? I have seen bugs and animals captured in the resin. I wonder if we are not like those frozen creatures. Forever on display…posed in our way of doing things and our biases and our reluctance to change…

Photo by Castorly Stock on

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