“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1: 2-3
In order to get in as many steps as I can each day, I walk through Fellowship Hall and up the stairs and through the Choir room and down again. I’ve started walking through the sanctuary down one aisle and up another, and realized that I know where almost all of you sit. I can picture us on Sunday mornings and I can feel the joy of greeting you and of us being together. The sight of the empty-now-for-months sanctuary had been too gloomy for me to preach from ~ but walking in there, and pausing at the pews to pray, has made my heart overflow with love.
I’ve never appreciated James’ admonition to consider facing difficulties as a source of joy. But God is showing me that my soul is like an oyster, and that irritation, frustration, and fear could be opportunities for blessings and beauty.
Pearls are formed in an oyster when irritation gets in the shell. Layers of nacre form to protect the oyster and something beautiful is created. I think pearls are being created in my soul. Out of grief and disappointment and worry that the church can’t gather in the church… I’ve realized how much I treasure you, and our life together, and this place. When I walk in the sanctuary I’m filled with love and gratitude and hope.
I’m praying for a vaccine to end COVID-19 and for us to be free to be together again. But there are lessons – pearls if you will – to be discovered in this hard time. I wonder what pearls you’ve found in this pandemic?
In faith, Marylee