Epistle #59: “Smiles, Handshakes & Hugs by St. Paul Member Nancy Hanson


Chances are, growing up you played the clapping game, “Have you ever, ever, ever in your long legged life seen a long legged sailor with his long legged wife?”   You replied with, “No, I’ve never, never, never in my long legged life seen a long legged sailor with his long legged wife.”   Well, I feel like the chorus of that little song is what keeps coming out of my mouth right now.  Not about “seeing sailors,” but about the feelings of anxiety, turmoil and worry concerning the pandemic and the civil unrest going on around the world.  So many things I never, never, never thought I’d see.

The other day my 7 year old granddaughter, Essie, looked me right in the eye and said, “Grandma, are you so sad that we can’t go to church now?”   Yes, Essie, I am.  We are all so sad we can’t come together to worship.  We know the drill by now – stay 6 feet away, wear a face mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing.  We know we need to do this to help keep others and ourselves safe, but it is so hard to do when we are used to greeting each other with our visible smiles, warm hugs, and hearty handshakes.   I am really missing all of those things.

I was looking through some of my kids study books from when they were going through Confirmation.   (God’s Little Devotional Book for Students)   Thought I’d pass on a few verses for some inspiration during these times of unrest and uncertainty we are going through.

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.”

Proverbs 10:19   If you talk a lot, you are sure to sin; if you are wise, you will keep quiet.


“Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing”

Proverbs 11:17   Kind people do themselves a favor, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves.


“Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”

Galatians 5:14 & 15    The entire law is summed up in a single command:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you go on hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other.


One that might bring a smile to your face:

“Even a mosquito doesn’t get a slap on the back until it starts to work.”

2 Timothy 2:15   Make every effort to give yourself to God as the kind of person he will accept.  Be a worker who is not ashamed and who uses the true teaching in the right way.


Looking forward to when we can begin our “new normal” in worship together, when we can greet each other with our smiles, handshakes and hugs. – Nancy Hanson

Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867

Church office phone: 515-462-4270