I apologize for dropping out for several days. I forgot to check the little box requesting email updates for replies, and work and family have kept me busy this week. Learning to do things a little differently – putting out printed materials instead of in-person gatherings, and trying tap into old technology to be able to broadcast services – seems to take more time than the usual way of doing things! My husband started working from home this week while watching our girls at the same time, so when I get home I try to give him a break and focus my energy on them.
Reading through the Week 2 reflections I missed, there were a few that I wanted to respond to. Wally, I really appreciated you sharing your struggles over wanting to share the good news you have found in Christ with others, yet knowing that as a chaplain this was not the place to share the gospel overtly. I wonder if your presence and demeanor might plant seeds or serve as a positive example that the youth you mention might look back on at some point. I remember when I went through a time of questioning my faith during seminary, one touchpoint for me was thinking about a college professor I respected greatly. “If he believes in this…” gave me confidence to continue holding on to Christian faith myself.
Angel shared a conversation with someone who sees the present virus crisis in end-of-the-world terms. I’ve had a few conversations with residents this week who are also making sense of the pandemic through the lens of their faith in ways different than I do. It’s interesting: I can agree with them on how God might be using the good that comes out of this, while not agreeing on whether this is God’s punishment for human wickedness. But I do realize that they, like all of us, are trying to find meaning in these unprecedented times. And I have learned to have some humility in my own point of view. I don’t think it’s God’s judgment, but I could be wrong.
Mike, I love your conclusion, “I do not need to defend God, but only embrace and love my neighbor as he does…” There are a few people who seem to pull us into defending our views or even God. You remind me that God’s bigness allows me to let go of the rope and not get pulled into a defensive position.