Well, it is September 3rd in Little Egypt. I made my third visit to our JC Penney store that is going out of business. There are still a lot of clothes, although the store has been going out of business for several weeks. It makes me sad to see our department stores leave us… I saw the most wonderful family of deer on campus this morning. They were oblivious to human danger…but then again there were not many humans around. Each time that I watch members of the animal kingdom, accept for the human mammal, I am struck with their acceptance of life as it is and their joy in the experience!
Jonathon and I were talking earlier about the narrow parameters of our 2020 pandemic. We have been forced to look at what we call our life in a new and innovative way. We humans are meant for action. We feel stale and our energy is low when we are constricted from our common practices of fellowshipping with the other members or our species. When faced with the life changing event of covid-19 we peer through a glass darkly as the Apostle Paul said… I think the we see either murky uncertainty or a merry challenge for new pursuits and a new way of looking at our life. Do your recall the old tube televisions that had three channel reception and two of them were fuzzy? Indeed…our world is full of static! We are being told the scientific truth regarding our condition amidst the deafening clang of cymbals and the beating of the bass drum of lies and half truths. We want to gather with our friends and family. We want to worship with our fellow congregants. We want to have a beer with our buddies…or in my case a Dragon’s Milk! It has been 6 months and it appears to be getting worse… We want to vacation is Maine and travel to Edinburgh, Scotland…but the virus persists! We grieve for life as it was…that we are missing.
Not to be forgotten…we still have the most precious of our commodities…life! I have two friends who have died of the virus and a member of my extended family that has contracted it. I spend a lot of my time writing. I spend a significant time reading. I relish taking photographs. I love good movies and English Murder Mystery’s. My family has never been more important to me. The fragility of this walk back to Jerusalem…has never been more apparent. I spoke with my church board colleague, Rob, yesterday and I considered what a kind and considerate christian that he is. A person who loves justice and mercy and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. I spoke with Pastor Kerry yesterday as well. What a solid thinker with a practical application of christianity in regards to addressing the supreme challenges or our life in real time.
‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’ C.S. Lewis
‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’ C.S. Lewis
We will emerge from the pandemic and we will be changed. Our generation is in the midst of a life altering event. School children will read about us 100 years from now. We are performers and players on the stage of life. I learned many years ago to seek the big picture. I daily considered what does my service to Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale mean to the betterment of the department and how will it resound to the improvement of the University. As either a member of a church congregation for 51 years or at times a member/leader of church government…how will my actions affect others. You are being watched 24/7. Your actions and your words and your veracity are being considered by all that know you… I told the Vice Chancellor for Diversity…many years ago…when he accused me of lying to him…that our meeting was over and that he could talk to my boss because nothing was more important to me than my good name… That attestation would include jobs and the money the goes with them!
So, the murkiness of our present pandemic distress will end…but we must be dedicated to what our scientist and epidemiologist and virologist tell us. Being close to other humans is bad unless you both are wearing a face mask. Social distancing is vital to the continuance of your most precious gift…your life!