There is a part of you that is just yours. Your emotions. Your experiences. Your hopes. Your story. We tend to protect that part of ourselves, sharing it only carefully and sparingly. As I was praying this morning, I thought of the Holy of Holies, that innermost chamber of the Temple in Jerusalem from Biblical times. Your innermost self, who you are, what you hope, what you love, what you feel, that is like your own holy of holies. That is where the image of God is found in you, in me, and in each of us.
When we share our stories, we are sharing from our innermost self, that holy of holies. When we listen attentively to another person’s story, we get a glimpse of the sacred, the holy in them. This is a rare gift.
On Sunday I invited you to share a small part of your story with the following prompt: The pandemic has been hard on all of us. Can you share the story of a challenge you have experienced? The answers to this prompt are precious and even holy. When we share our selves, offering even a small amount of vulnerability like this, we are building the Beloved Community that is Christ.
Today, I want to share a small sample of these sacred stories from Sunday’s worship.
- The biggest challenge has been the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to get together and physically help the people around me.
- The loss of my dear wife at the beginning of the pandemic and the loss of my stepson in June. Now leaning on my Lord to sustain me through this very difficult time.
- I got COVID in late January and was in the hospital and rehab for 6 weeks. I had to give up my beloved dog. But I am grateful that he has gone to a good home. I am still sad, and miss him so much.
- I lost my job and became really isolated. This made me depressed and sad all the time. My good friend’s son committed suicide as age 25. He left behind 3 small children. The grief of his mother and father is heartbreaking.
- Loss of music—playing in musical groups, going to concerts, taking piano lessons in person.
- I missed two birthday parties.
If you would like to read more of these holy stories, click here.