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From Pastor Susan for April:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
I recently read on a website this short explanation of Isaiah’s first verse in Chapter 43: God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “ do not fear” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because God knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.
As I write we are “sheltered in” or doing our best to “stay in.” We are still able to shop for groceries, pick up prescriptions, get gas for our vehicles, drive by for ‘pick up’ merchandise and food, and take a walk outside. Some of us will still go to work. Some are now facing the newness of working from home. Some are not able to go to their work places and are wondering how they will manage financially. We cannot deny there is fear in the air.
As a non-profit organization we are within the realm of what is considered ‘essential,’ in a broader sense, because in this uncertain and unprecedented world circumstance we look to our faith and our faith community to help us cope. For all of us COVID-19 is a still-evolving entity, creating unknowns for all of us; fear of the unknown is a common reaction. It is this kind of fear that can
decrease our hope.
I talked to a friend who is an x-ray technician. She does have genuine fear as she steps into the clinic and reads another memo on protocol and safety. But once she is there, she does her job. Logically, she knows soap and water alone can keep hands and surfaces clean of COVID-19. Wearing a mask is the safest way to prevent exposure in her field and with limiting their intake to three people a day, there is less risk. However, as the clinic stays open, she feels vulnerable. Her heart ached for all those working in hospitals where there were more patients and, therefore, more potential for infection. She grew up in the church and is faithful in worship and service, practices yoga, and still... the fear is real. During our conversation – similar to the honest and deep heartfelt Psalms in the Bible asking God for help in the midst of despair – she was able to talk about the fear, express it, release it, and even if for a few moments, begin to feel a sense of calm and confidence to take her into the next day.
‘Social distancing’ is for our physical well-being but it doesn’t mean our phones and internet don’t work. Please DO call or email or face time the people you are thinking about, praying about and wondering about. ‘Check in’ with one another because talking about our fears and hopes and looking to the future together will help us cope. Pray. And don’t let fear take over; God is making a way forward within us and around us.
With the love of Christ and His peace available for all,