BY REV. CORY L. KEMP |
Back to normal.
I don’t think that’s ever going to be the case again, and I don’t believe that’s really what most people who say so are seeking. Maybe back to something familiar, like a habit or a routine that doesn’t feel surreal, disjointed or out of place, is more of what we are after.
I’ve stopped marking my pandemic experience in weeks and now think in terms of months, four to be exact. As time passes, more abrupt departures from what is familiar are cropping up, mostly shelved in favor of the immediacy of what will “keep us safe.” Commerce, entertainment, education and full religious practices, including worship in our sanctuaries, community outreach and programming, all of these are now subject to adaptation or even dismissal for the foreseeable future.
It’s becoming clear that with almost every decision related to dealing with this time we are winging it. We are learning a lot about ourselves and each other, how we think and what we believe.
And I don’t think we’re letting God help us as much as God probably is willing to do so. Do you?
We surely are not the first people to push God away in favor of the immediate and most pragmatic decision available. Or, something far more damaging, to minimize God’s presence, God’s power to sustain and strengthen us in the worst of times. We won’t be the last.
But in these times, our times, I am certain that God is calling us, you and me, to more, in thought, word, and deed.
Everything we have done and will do to mitigate the spread of this virus will secure and sustain our public health. But it will not determine the health and well-being of our faith, nor the assurances it provides us as it did our ancestors.
Although not spoken during a pandemic, God’s words, through the prophet Isaiah to Israel, did draw their attention to how they were considering God during the troubles they were facing.
“To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him?” says the Holy One. “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hid from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?’
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and grow weary, and young people shall fall exhausted; but they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 16-2
Each morning I encourage myself to consider God as more than my weariness, my struggle to participate in simple practices that contribute to our collective physical health and well-being. Today, I invite you to do the same. To whom, if anyone, are you comparing God?
About the Author
The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.