This week as I have been meeting with groups at All Saints’, I have asked some version of these questions:
- Where have you seen Jesus?
- What is hard?
- What has brought you joy?
Here are some of my answers.
Jesus is right here, at all times and in all places. There is no place where he is not, sometimes we just have to look a bit harder, sometimes a lot harder. But it is critical that we keep looking.
This week I have heard from people on the frontlines of healthcare in Cabarrus County. They are caring for COVID-19 patients. They are professionals, but they are concerned for their patients, their families and themselves. It is not “over there,” it is right here. And that is hard.
Joy has arrived unexpectedly through Emily Badgett. Emily is a senior at Sewanee University, a “daughter” of this church and a postulant for holy orders in the Diocese of North Carolina. She should be spending these last weeks hanging out with her friends as she closes out her college years. She should be planning for graduation and those long goodbyes to all those who have walked with her these past four years. Instead, she had to leave campus quickly and now is here in Concord as she awaits the beginning of her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program this summer.
I grieve what she has lost. I am also thankful that we are blessed to have her back at All Saints. It is a joy to be able to welcome her to staff on a very part-time basis as an intern in children and youth ministry while she is doing CPE this next year before entering seminary.
You’ll also find joy arriving in your mailboxes with “Take-Out” church: “Flat Jesus” and prayer cards — a true team effort. It was the brainchild of Deacon Jackie, with input from Ruth Brown and me, and heavy lifting by Emily (unfortunately we could not get enough laminating sheets—a supply chain issue). I hope that you will share where you have seen Jesus with all of us. We know that this is a hard time. We also know that joy will find us if we keep looking.