Traveling Reflections by Pastor Steph
July 29, 2020
For the past two days, I traveled to New Jersey and back for a family funeral. If you, like me, haven’t been out of the area in a while, let me fill you in on what’s happening beyond our little part of the world:
There’s a lot less traffic on the roads. We almost never get over the Tappan Zee Bridge without traffic, but we breezed on through without stopping, both ways. It seems odd to see so many less cars on the highways. It made me wonder, where was everyone?
The dystopian view is that everyone has died or is hiding in a bunker somewhere, terrified of all that is happening in our world. But, I’m not a particularly dystopian person. I think that people are finding new ways to live. This is something we are called to, in these odd times in which we live. We can spend our days worrying about death, or we can find new ways to live. Our travel and work may change, but we can still most assuredly journey with God, and those journeys can take us to all sorts of new “places” in our lives.
I also noticed everywhere that there are signs thanking “heroes.” The heroes being lifted up were healthcare workers all over the New York/New Jersey area, who sacrificed much during difficult times. While things are easing there now, these heroes are still hard at work, and still stepping into danger in order to help others.
Because there are always heroes. There are always those who step in to do good. As Mr. Rogers said, “look for the helpers.” They are always there. Even when we feel the most alone, even we it seems like we’re surrounded by people who only want to hurt others, there are always good people ready to make a difference. Sometimes, those heroes are us. So, let us look for ways to see, and to be, the good people our world needs.
Finally, one thing I noticed in my travels was that people seemed truly hungry for personal interaction. Our waitress at IHOP on the way home, the woman who runs the cemetery we went to, neighbors in our old neighborhood – they all wanted to talk. People are hungry for other people.
So, let us be someone who is open to feed that hunger. To speak in love. To listen, and listen some more. To smile behind our masks. To open our hearts to those we know and to strangers. To commune with others, for in so doing we commune with God.
My time was a blessing. It was also a difficult time. We can always choose which we will hold on to, the difficulty or the blessing. May you choose the Blessing today, wherever you go, or stay. Amen.
(photo above from Our Planet)