In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters…God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. Genesis 1:1-2, 31
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. Philippians 4:11
There are days when I wake up grumpy. Has this ever happened to you? I want to go out to lunch with friends. I want to visit someone who is sick or maybe lonely. I want to go to a real meeting with people in one room instead of on Zoom. I want to hug a friend. I want to sit close and talk without a mask. But COVID-19 tells me that those are things that simply are not safe to do in these days. And since I do not want to get sick myself, or cause someone else to become sick by spreading virus that I am unaware that I have, I find myself staying home a lot and greeting the people that I happen to see on my trips to the grocery store or pharmacy from the safety of six feet and a mask. And to be perfectly honest, I have grown weary of this semi-solitary way of living. And on top of these things, it has been cold and raining for what seems like forever, but no snow to make the soggy landscape peaceful and lovely. And when I turn on TV, I see news of other people complaining about a myriad of things.
And so I often find myself complaining. About the weather, Duke Blue Devils lose a basketball game (again). There are days when I believe that my complaints rise to the point of being an art form. And during one of those grouchy days, I recalled the beginning of a poem written in 1955 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and which I discovered as a student at Greensboro College in about 1970 (yes, I know. I am quite old). “The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind happiness not always being so very much fun…” It goes on and gets darker as it goes. There are days when it suits my mood.
But…on those days when my complaints pile up, well, sometime I am reminded that there is beauty even in these days of COVID-19. I will get a picture of the Beloved Grandson sliding down a hill on what appears to be a plastic bowl, but I am told that it is a “flying saucer” made for such activity. And then I laugh as his dad tries to do the same. And then I look online and find videos of penguins at the St. Louis Zoo marching out to enjoy the snow. And a photo of panda bears at the National Zoo rolling about in the snow. They are enjoying the weather!
I pick up the phone and find a friend who is glad to spend a few minutes conversing with me. Outside my window the birds and squirrels share the seed I put out for them. I pick up the newspaper (yes, we get a paper newspaper. As I said, we are old) and see that the Carolina Hurricanes have won a hockey game. I hear Rick rummaging around in the refrigerator and am reminded that I have a nice warm home to live in, and food to eat (even if we have to cook it ourselves). So many folks have neither. So I whisper a prayer asking God to bless folks who are lonely and hungry, and cold, and asking God to show me how I can help.
If I sit quietly I can hear a bird singing from high up in a tree. And I am reminded that it is better to start the day with a song of praise than with a grumble and complaint. The world is a beautiful place to be born into, for God made it to be so. But some days God lets us look for the beauty rather than setting it right before our eyes. But if we look for it, we will find it.
Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine.
Pastor Rachel Moser