Hi St. Paul’s Families,
I am writing to you from the comfort of my couch while I listen to the rain gently fall and the birds chirp. I have decided that I am going to use this time of social distancing to reflect on where I am now and where I want to be in my future. Kind of a perfect exercise for lent. For me that starts with being grateful. I am grateful for the green and growing things that are happening outside my window, I am grateful for my family, our clergy, and all of you. I am grateful for the steady presence of God in my life. I can’t help but think of the poem “Footprints” at this time. When I was a teenager, going through life’s normal teen trials, my Mother gave me a card for my wallet with this poem on it. At the time, the poem really helped me see things more clearly and it still helps me now. Here it is to share with all of you:
One Night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way,
But I have noticed during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed you the most you would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” (Author Unknown)
I have been reflecting on all that God has given me in my toolbox to deal with the emotional and physical challenge facing us as a community and a society. Most obvious to me these days is that we are not alone, even though we may feel like we are sometimes. We can pray and feel closer to God anytime we want, we can call family or friends, we can send texts and emails. We can also write in journals, read the bible or a book, play with a pet, listen to music (a favorite of mine), exercise (walks, runs and hikes are great), sit outside, organize things, play board games, watch a movie. The list is more extensive than I imagined. It seems in this liminal space we are better served by some of the things we had before all the technology took over our lives. Take this opportunity to connect with each other(we all need it). Take this opportunity to connect with God. Take this opportunity to experience the Lenten season with your families and look ahead to the hope of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This past Wednesday evening we held a live Bible Story with our families from 6:30 to 7:00pm. Dawn Harrison joined us for singing and we had an enthusiastic group. We plan to hold this again next Wednesday, so watch your email for the link to join.
Stay safe and know that you are an important part of our wonderful St. Paul’s family.