It is May, but it really doesn’t feel a whole lot different than April, or even March. I am longing for days in the mid 70’s and nights in the upper 50’s. Maybe we will have a few before we get into deep Summer!
This social distancing and staying home hasn’t affected me as much as it has others. I realize that because I work out of my home, my parsonage, that what I do has changed quite a bit, but where I do it really hasn’t. I talked to my daughter who has two teenagers. She and her husband are working out of the house, and the kids are doing “distance learning” out in Colorado. The school administration just announced that “regular” school will not resume until September (their last day is scheduled for the end of May). They are struggling because they simply aren’t used to trying to do work individually all in the same house, at the same time.
Lori Jo is still going over to Zion to work in the office, so our routine really hasn’t changed. But I do miss interacting with the people of Asbury UMC, both Sunday worship and even the meetings that occasionally happened, with Trustees, Council and PPR.
I realize I do miss the interaction, especially when I preach. Jim Baker who gave the message on 4/26 said it was strange for him to stand in the pulpit and look out and only see three people. It is very different. But what I think I miss most is the greeting. I normally walk around and interact with just about everyone. There is the “Larry hand-bump”, a few hugs, interrupting EJ’s gaming, saying good morning to everyone and the importance of passing the peace. Wishing peace and grace to each person there is a wonderful gift that God gives me. And I miss that gift of fellowship and the exchange of well wishes.
Many years ago I was in sales, I sold items to libraries. At the end of the quarter, and especially the end of the year, when I was living alone, I would go for an entire week working out of my home office, never interacting with another human being. Towards the end of one of those weeks, I actually went out to a convenience store and bought a cup of coffee. I didn’t need the coffee, I had some at home. I went to the store just to experience a brief interaction with another person.
We will get back to than more “normal” kind of life, but there is the continuing tension between needing to stay safe and healthy, and getting the economy moving, at least a little more than it is. I continue to remain on the side of safety, but am very concerned about people who have been out of work for 6 or 7 weeks, and counting!
If you are someone who has been severely impacted by the stay-at-home order, let us know. We can help, to some extent. If you haven’t been seriously impacted, I want to encourage you to consider taking a portion of the stimulus money you have, or will, receive and donate some of it, or maybe all of it, to people in need. Asbury has a Community Needs Fund and we continue to provide funds to the local Food Bank.
Caring for others, especially in a time of uncertainty, is what Jesus calls us to do.