The Revs. Smiths’ Message for May 9, 2021

Dear Friends,

We are now 14 months into the pandemic, with all its constant ups and downs.  Who among us isn’t wearing thin? We may feel a sense of stagnation, of emptiness as the weeks and months go by.  Some describe it as like climbing a never-ending ladder.  Others as “Work. Sleep. Pay bills. Repeat.”  Sometimes I feel like I am on a treadmill, just putting one foot in front of the other, going nowhere.  It’s called languishing.  Psychologist Adam Grant wrote about it recently in the New York Times.

Another image in honour of Mother’s Day – Ed. “Mother and Child in a Boat” (1898) by American impressionist painter Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862–1938); from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

I came across a prayer recently from the Jewish Sabbath Prayer Book.  It has helped me cope with, and indeed overcome, these times of languishing.

Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. God, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing; let there be moments when Your Presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns unconsumed. And we, clay touched by God, will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder: “How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it!”

Chaim Stern, Reform rabbi, liturgist

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, May 8, 2021, edition of Tidbits.