One of the items on the agenda for last night’s Council meeting was a conversation regarding the reopening of in-person worship.  Last Sunday was our first time back together since the middle of March.  I don’t need to be on my thinking chair to realize that it feels like a long time ago.  All in all, the discussion was positive. The most concern focused on the clustering of people at the conclusion of the service.  That is understandable because we like and missed each other.  The resolution is that we just need to be a bit more aware of maintaining physical distance as we greet each other.  We had around 50 of the beloved in attendance. We’re looking forward to worship this Sunday and hope to see at least half of your face at a 6 foot distance. We’ll know there is a smile under your mask.
Here is my question that I have been pondering: When will I start feeling less tentative about my “comings” and more confident in my “goings”?  Right now the easiness of resuming as if all is clear makes me feel a bit of dis-ease. There is a real virus and it has impacted the lives of many people and families. It’s not going away for a while. But I know that I need to learn to live with this virus and perhaps that exactly what’s happening.
Now for you extroverts out there, I simply don’t know how you have managed in this time of distancing and disconnecting. I have so much more appreciation for you.  Because as an introvert I’m okay with the space. It’s been a welcomed change but I realized something significant. Social contact (friendship) is more essential than I like to admit.  I find myself yearning for some engagement even though I prefer a smaller number of folks and a less loud environment.  I realized that I want to resume my chats at Mad Fish and sip a beverage with a table (smaller that is) full of friends.  I want to venture out for dinner and linger at Farm and Garden or wherever without thinking that I need to complete the chore and get away from people as quickly as possible. In learning how to live with this virus, I also realized that I’m missing my life (which means you) before the virus.

Scripture Reading: John 15:14-15
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. ” 

Reflection Questions:
What do you miss?
What have you learned about yourself?
Lately, how have you expressed your faith?

Holy God, with gratitude I give thanks for the people you have blessed me with, those who have come alongside me to love, encourage and support me through all my comings and goings. Help me to be a better friend. Amen.

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