Today's Lectionary Text
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Today, I dated the inside of my toilet paper roll. And then I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. I’m not sure why I found it to be Facebook worthy, but it felt like something to do to document what is happening in the world. I will be honest; I am struggling. I cry almost daily. I am a person who needs to touch others. I am the person who helps the old person get the item off the shelf and tries to play with the crying baby in front of me at the cash register line. Suddenly, every single person is the COVID enemy…don’t touch anything, no hugs, no sneezing, no nothing. I went out yesterday to pick up our groceries at Walmart grocery pickup and it was a disaster. My husband touched his face and I lost it. We got home and I put myself in timeout. This morning, I realized he had sat the wrong kind of bacon out and I could not make the breakfast that I had planned. I stood up from peering defeatedly into the refrigerator, heavy chested and I started to cry. He hugged me and I went back into the kitchen to decide what to cook. Little did I know, after being on my own for 23 years, that today would be the day that I make the most beautiful, golden brown, perfectly crisp picture frame egg sandwich. Every time I have ever tried to make those or pancakes, I almost burn the house down. The smoke alarm goes off and everything smells burnt for a week. Once it was so bad that I had to throw the pan away! Both food items are childhood staples and bring me great comfort in times of peril.
Which leads me to this thought. We have to find beauty in the weirdest of ways. I have been in quarantine since March 11th. I have had a sinus infection and pneumonia. As I look back over the last 12 days, I am grateful for many things that typically are just habitual. This time has also made me realize what great privilege that I have that I could take time to heal and I was able to get the medicines that I needed to be well. I am grateful for technology so that I could talk and text from friends all over the country. I have talked with my mom multiple times a day. I have been able to read books, make good food, sleep in and make the most delicious coffee. I have been intentional about adding colorful fruit to my salads and cutting my sandwich in half to create an appealing plate. Most of all, I have leisurely spent time with God every morning. I read the Bible, 1st thing every morning, while I drink coffee but then I have to get ready to go to work. That has not been the case for the last 12 days. I read a page out of Alexander De Heijer’s book, Nothing You Don’t Already Know, a Lenten devotion out of Trevor Hudson’s book, “Pauses for Lent”, Bob Goff’s daily devotion, “Live in Grace. Walk in Love”, and then a scripture out of Isaiah in my CEB Lectio Divinia Bible. I finish up with writing five things that I am grateful for and sometimes it is hard. But I am doing it every day because it is the only thing in my routine that is somewhat normal. There are things to still enjoy and find peaceful because one thing is for sure, God is with us.
Day 21 of Hudson’s Lenten devotion was about peace. He writes about two kinds of peace; peace that the world gives and the peace of God. The peace that the world gives is in turmoil. That is why people are hoarding toilet paper, pasta and Lysol. This is why people are being unreasonable and unkind. It is why I am crying every day. But if I really know that God is with us, I can get through all of this because of the peace that we can find in God. God’s peace “is a lasting peace that cannot be taken away from us. IT does not depend on our lives running smoothly. God’s peace provides an inner assurance that, ultimately, all will be well. This peace occurs in the presence-not the absence-of upheaval and turmoil” (Hudson, 37). I am not sure what the coming days will bring but I do know this; this is going to get worse. We are all going to suffer in different ways and we are all going to have times where we need to go to timeout. We are humans. Go outside and listen to the bird chirp. Watch flowers grow in the crack of the sidewalk. Walk your dog. Make a craft. Write a poem. Call a college friend. Paint a positive message on your front door. Do something to make your world a bit brighter and find peace in the most unexpected of places.
-Rev. Marcee Binder
Wesley House, Pittsburg KS
Via Emporia State Faithlab
Prayer for Reflection
My prayer for you is that you will be able to see beauty in the midst of the chaos and know that God is with us in this turmoil. Peace be with you. Amen
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