Last week we shared stories of the challenges we have faced in this pandemic. (You can see that article here.) When I created the little slips of paper to allow people to share their stories, I wrote, “The pandemic was hard on all of us.” Was. As if it were over. But the pandemic is not over.
The traumas we shared last week are still happening: Isolation, loss of income, loneliness, the death of loved ones, fear of getting sick, and just plain loss. New challenges keep coming. Trauma is still happening. As if to illustrate this point, on Friday night, a man threw rocks through the glass of our entry door. No reason. Not someone we know. Just a guy with rocks in his pockets, looking for a window to break. The struggles, the challenges, and the traumas, just keep coming.
So, let’s deal with that. We can be Christ’s hands and heart in the world and help each other heal from trauma. We can be people who have the compassion and generosity to reach out to others in their struggles. We can be people who offer welcome to those who have been rejected. We can be the church that offers a cold glass of water on a hot day, a meal on a hungry afternoon, shelter on a freezing night, and the comfort and prayers of worship every day. We are that church.
Over the door of our church there is a new banner that reads, “All are Welcome + All are Fed + All are loved.” This congregation has the heart and capacity to offer spiritual healing. We do that by sharing our stories and by listening attentively and compassionately to other people’s stories.
The pandemic and its traumas are not going away, so let’s be people who offer healing and hope. Let’s be that spiritual trauma center where people know they can come to be known, to be heard, and to be appreciated.
On Sunday we will continue sharing our stories. Come. Be a part of that. Together we can heal, grow, and thrive. Thanks be to God.