August brings a lighter note and the question on many lips is: “So, what have you been doing during this Summer of 2020?” Beside the obvious, the short answer is: “Staying at home a lot.” Another answer is: “Grumping about wearing a mask.” Still another: “Trying to keep my sanity as all the days just seem to blend together.” I confess that we’ve felt and experienced all of the above. Yet, we have made a little lemonade out the lemons, too.
The Foxes took advantage of the really great weather of June, followed by a hot July, in that we’ve actually gotten a lot accomplished. So, we’ve been working on the yard and grounds after a couple of years of semi-neglect. Weed pulling and watering the planted flower beds has become a morning past-time for Debra Ann. The dogs happily join her, safely tied to a tree or two, where they thoroughly enjoy watching the walkers, barking at squirrels, and soaking up the morning sun. BTW, they say that death and taxes are inescapable, but so are weeds! This summer has grown a bumper crop.
Over the past few months our red haired Scottie, Tessa, has invented a new game she plays with my wife. Tessa loves Debra Ann’s socks! More specifically, she loves to steal socks and hide them. So, when my wife finds a sock stuffed in some corner, she makes a big deal over it, chatters about it with the dog, and then eventually finds a new hiding place. Then when Tessa re-discovers it, she walks all over the house with the sock in her mouth for a new location to ferret it away. Sometimes I find her “re-positioning” it a few times to new locales until Mom can find it again. And then the saga repeats. Tessa is in her glory. We just laugh a lot and pretend we don’t notice. When the relatives come to visit we’ll have to warm them not to leave anything in their suitcase or in reach—otherwise, it will join the “lost” sock!
My point in writing all this is that despite Covid, life goes on. Not being quite so stressed by “hurry-up” schedules is a good thing. Not being tied to a clock is a good thing. Taking life as it comes is a good thing. It’s more like living “Mayberry” (an ancient TV show), than it is about being frenetic. Sitting outside after supper in the lawn chairs and feeling the setting sun on your face is a blessing.
Because of all this, I have mixed emotions over the “pandemic” when it comes to church. It forced the issue of live-streaming the service. It was time and it will continue. Slowly the gear is arriving and being permanently installed. We hope to cross-train a few techie souls to spell Seth Cordes and Jon Larson after their many weeks of faithful service. Why not volunteer to help? After all, you’ll never be late for church if you do! Likewise, we’ve been able to reach more people on Sunday than would be present physically. A former couple who lives in Panama watches us every week. Don’t be reticent about sharing the link with friends or relatives. It’s painless and shows you really do care about their soul.
The drive-by communion is a blessing and has now dwindled off a bit. But it will continue for the present. Some of our older members and those with health issues just feel more comfortable with it. And communion is a powerful antidote to feeling down and depressed over current affairs. Or as one old friend once said: “How are you going to fight off the devil without ammunition.” Communion is another way to “reload.”
I do miss our fellowship time where the “flavor of Pinewood” comes to the fore. The fact is: all Christians need “the mutual conversation of the brethren.” It connects us to each other—especially right after hearing the Gospel jointly. It provides people with an outlet to talk about their issues in life within a Christian environment. It gives me a chance to gauge what’s going on in your life so as to better minister to you.—This happens when I can read faces—ah the masks again. In an age where we watch TV and view things strained through the prism of a camera, live “performances” and live sound and the energy that flows from them can never be replaced. So, come back as soon as you can and recapture the best of worship by being a part of it without any filters getting in the way.
August is my favorite month. The bounty of the gardens, the warm, soft air, the carefreeness of summer, high summer, all converge to heighten the senses. All winter long we waited or it and now that it’s here, so savor it. Isn’t the blessing of the different seasons awesome? God knew what He was doing after the Flood when He bestowed them upon us…..
Pastor Thomas H. Fox