Epistle #35: “Surprise!”

Surprise. Insight. Understanding. As a reflective person, I’m fascinated by what this experience of isolation and change is doing to all of us. At work (from the card table in my bedroom) I spend time with people listening to understand how they are doing and what they need in order to not only be productive employees, but also to be OK as we work differently. These insights form work for the next day, shaping experiences so we can be as good as we can be, considering the circumstances. I also find insights about our society throughout the groundhog’s day that seems to repeat each morning. These learnings surprise me and show who we are and what matters to us when we take away one from another. I see that it really is   hard on us, and we’re made to connect with others. My favorite insights make me laugh at myself. Like how I’m falling into the pattern of purchases that many others are – hygiene products, hair dye, yeast, and now pools. Yes, we bought a pool for the girls after realizing that summer plans are dashed, and we want them to have something fun to do since they’re removed from their friends and activities. All of this leads to understanding – I guess I’m pretty typical, like most others experiencing life that suddenly went on hold. I think pools are now sold out on Amazon. Surprise!

The same learnings relate to Easter, especially when we see how Jesus appeared to his followers after his crucifixion. He surprised Mary, Thomas, and the disciples. He showed them himself, and then they believed. Each encounter brought about not only understanding but also caused a life-changing shift in purpose for each of them. I want that for myself, too. I ask, how is the Easter story still our story today? In 2020, during a pandemic lock-down? My greatest realization to date: that we are more alike than different. That our Christian faith, expressed through ancient creeds spoken by my family (in our pajamas as we watch church online) is shared by millions of Christians around the world, probably in their pj’s, too. That others are experiencing the shifting feelings we feel. And, that Christ is revealing himself during this time of uncertainty, grief, fear, and frustration. When all is stripped away, here is what I understand to be true: loving my family, loving my neighbors, and loving the Lord are really the root of what happens when we encounter Christ. This love unites us, stretches us, and brings us God’s blessings in the midst of this odd experience. It’s so simple, but so powerful when everything else stands still and is sold out on Amazon. Surprise!


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