Peace, Justice & Love in Times Like These (Part I)

Peace, Justice & Love in Times Like These (Part I) March 18, 2020

To say that the world feels rather heavy right now is an understatement.

Pixabay // wal_172619

News changes by the hour: this afternoon, when my seven-year old son and I sat across the dining room table together, he looked at me and said, “Mama, isn’t it interesting that I had school at school a week ago?”

Interesting, indeed. 

Now the governor of California warns that most of the school-aged children in our state will likely be out of the classroom until summer, a fact that could very well change by the time this post goes to publication. In the meantime, we do the only thing we can: we continue to put our best foot forward. We rally together as human beings and citizens of this precious thing called life. We fight for justice – including justice for those whose livelihood has already been severely affected by the effects of quarantining, already – and we rally together as never before.

And also? We let ourselves feel pain. We let the myriad emotions swimming around in our brains and hearts take a seat at the table. “It’s okay to feel sad and mad,” I said to my boys, this time over the lunchtime hour, though still sitting at the dining room table. “Because I don’t know about you, but this is really hard and it’s confusing.”

[Side note: There wasn’t a better book for me to read this weekend than Glennon Doyle’s new release, Untamed – as one friend and I talked about in our virtual book club, her words gave us permission to feel all the feels in the here and now. Funny how that happens.]

 

Heads nodded in agreement and conversation ensued, ours an agreement in the end to feel the pain of these upended, to show grace and flexibility and patience with one another, (those end “showing” goals really more of a reminder to myself more than anyone else).

Because in a way, leaning into the pain of the present is the only thing we can do sometimes.

Another thought: this weekend I preached my first-ever sermon from the comfort of my office, (the room that also happens to be called the guest bedroom and the music room, among other monikers). House slippers on my feet and yoga pants on my bottom, I sat in my chair and shared my thoughts on a little passage in Ephesians to the online community gathered with us.

Screen shot of the service alongside pastors and friends Matt Nightingale (left) and Tony Gapastione (right).

Ephesians 3:1-12 wasn’t something that I decided to preach on, per say, for it was instead the assigned text assigned …but as I sat with Paul’s words in the days leading up to that morning, I couldn’t help but marvel at the timely beauty of the message.

The passage is about unity and reconciliation. It’s about everyone, everywhere, coming together, because this is what God ordained from the beginning of time. It’s about seeing God in the mystery, and it’s about both the calling and invitation to be the people we already are to one another, in this time. And also? It’s about how the mastery of unity invites us into peace and justice and love – after all, this is who God is at God’s core.

In thinking about all of this, we camped out on that last statement, seeking to provide tangible ideas to one another (through my ideas and the comment section of Facebook Live) on how we might really, actually be peace and justice and love to one another.

After all, this is who we are. And seeing these comments, these thoughts, these ideas come alive was, well, beautiful.

I don’t know what way is up and what way is down right now, but I do know this: we humans are bound by an inextricable kind of love, and this love knits us together simply because we’re human.

Might we continue to be this with and to one another in the coming days.

Hang in there.

I’ll pass a bunch of ideas along to you in a couple of days, but in the meantime,  pop over to Facebook, cozy up and watch the online church service, and add in thoughts of your own. Otherwise, how have you seen unity play out like never before in the last week or so? 

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