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On the Way   The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan
COVID 6

A few words in the time of COVID-19 when more words won’t do.

  1. Some Days, Everything’s Hard

I can’t even grow sourdough starter.

The instructions are simple.

I’ve followed them to a tee.

Flour, water, clean jar, room temp.

Cover loosely, watch it happen.

But each morning, as I ‘round the corner into the kitchen,

            as full of anticipation as a kid coming down the stairs

            on Christmas…

I find the same soupy, flat, flour water-

            Not the bubbling, tangy excitement that King Arthur has promised.

Why is this so hard?

2. What If?

On the sofa, dish of supper in my lap,

watching the news with the sound turned down-

COVID this and COVID that-

I asked my husband:

“What if the world didn’t have COVID?

What would we even be talking about?”

He lifted his eyes towards my corner of the room,

Removed the fork from his mouth and said:

“Baseball.”

3. Story

I’m Netflixed out.

But there’s nothing like a good story to calm the mind.

And so I’m reading now, about the history of the settlement of Maine.

Indians and Investors. Lobsters and Clams. Bitter winters and Abject poverty.

Did you know that Maine was once part of Massachusetts and that two-hundred pound cod used to practically jump in the boat?

4. Songs of Praise

I heard, the other day, 

that there is an organist in the Northern Tier

who spends her Sundays calling parishioners and 

playing them hymns 

from her piano in her home.

She is keeping the people fed with 

            songs of praise

5. Zoom

I see you-

looking at your lap, texting your sister about the funny show you watched on tv last night.

I see you-

waiting, patiently, to share your good idea- 

pressing the raised hand feature, 

leaning into the screen,

missing the heat and warmth and breath of a same-space meeting that has

                  So. Many. More. Dimensions.

I see you-

and your cat and that painting on the wall behind you and the bookshelf filled with interesting titles and the curtains with pretty floral tiebacks and the tulips in the vase, singing spring.

I can’t see you-

You have cut out the video option and you are a black square with your name in

Times New Roman 18.

Are you Eating? Ironing? Doing the Crossword?

 I see you.

            Squished into that little 2-inch box.

            You are bigger and smarter and braver and more brilliant than that.

            Don’t forget it.

Zoom.

6. On seeing Presiding Bishop Curry’s video

Dear Presiding Bishop,

Your words comfort me.

They also challenge me-

                        to be a better person.

                        to live like Jesus did.

                        to push away the nonsense and to love.

Love is at the core

                        of our Christian identity,

                        of the game-plan for each day

                                    that begins with confessing our sins in Morning Prayer

                                                and ends with us asking God to guard us sleeping.

        It’s that simple. And that hard.

       And so, thank you, for drawing us back to the center.

       For reminding us that in the eye of the storm, that God is there, 

patient and loving

       And that when we are weary, we can strip away all the nonsense and 

Just

Return

To

Love.

5 thoughts on “COVID 6”

  1. Meg Graham says:

    Beautiful. Elegant observations.

  2. Cindy McNeil says:

    Dear Audrey, it sounds so simple and amazing, then why in the midst of all the misery of this unsolved mystery virus are there so many ters each day for things lost in our lives….Jesus is in the midst but each one of us is struggling if not physically, mentally and emotionally…We are missing our day to day lives, and gathering in our churches on Sunday to hold everything tigether…

  3. Stan and Sandi Imboden says:

    Loved hearing of the Episcopal lady in Northern Tier who phones and plays hymns to parish members and friends. Also look forward to and uplifted by an Eoiscopal bishop who brings inspiring words into our homebound lives. Thank you from Sandi and from Stan.

  4. Tim &Mary Crilley says:

    It only takes a few of the words you share to make us think. Thank you.

  5. Clifford Johnston says:

    I knew that Maine was once a part of Massachusetts, not because of anything I learned in a history class, but because of the old gothic soap opera, “Dark Shadows.” Thanks, Bishop.

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