What now?

Wisteria vines blooming over a wood arbor
Our corner of the world today

There’s lots of bad stuff happening in the world right now. Lots. Gun violence in Buffalo and Texas. A brutal war in Ukraine. Power-hungry lobbyists. Corruption in government. Abusers hiding behind the pulpit. And more…

What are the right words to say? What is the right thing to do? We are torn between yelling into the Void (aka the internet) or curling up with fuzzy blankets and our pets.

It is easy to become overwhelmed. Your heart beats faster, you have no patience, and tears come to your eyes for no reason other than you have had enough. And everywhere you look, everyone you know is in the same boat.

I stood outside our back door this afternoon and looked up at the pergola over our back patio. The wisteria is blooming and the vines are humming (literally!) with the energetic feeding of bees and hummingbirds. The gentle fragrance of the wisteria floats down with every wisp of a breeze.

Some call wisteria “invasive.” And left untouched, it can be. I trim it back every year, retrain the newly sprouting vines, and sit in its shelter as the summer sun blasts down. In its dappled shade, I sit in my hammock swing and read… or nap… and remember that there are times and places for everything. Sometimes, you have to carve out a place and a time to listen to the sounds of LIFE around you.

There will still be hellish moments ahead for us this year. Life is full of pain and disappointment. And these little moments of rest are stolen from the “shoulds” of life. I should get dinner ready. I should finish the dishes. I should start the laundry. I should…

This is an opportunity to breathe. Just for a moment, to pause and reflect and feel connection to the Creator who made us and every living thing. Even invasive vines…

I was reminded of this short choral piece, one I sang in college with a chorale. We are all in this space of waiting, watching, praying, grieving… together. It’s based on verses from Psalm 145 and I offer it here tonight as a benediction.

Blessed be…

15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing. (Psalm 145, NRSV)

The Eyes of All, by Jean Berger

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