Lately I’ve been swatting away a foreboding that whirs around me like a mosquito looking for more than a good meal. To be direct, the ongoing drought out West has gotten to my spirit. Various swatting-maneuvers—corporate worship, devotional reading, conversations, prayer—have helped for awhile, but then the pesky facts keep buzzing back: Californians will run out of water by August, part of the nation’s food supply is in jeopardy and it’s only just now the start of summer!
That’s the upfront part of what’s been on my soul. On to the uplifting part….
This past Sunday, The Rev. Kendra Joyner-Miller—our guest preacher and a former U.S. Forest Service fire fighter—took worshipers through an exploration of what fire does to our spirits. How it can destroy and demoralize us so that we lose sight of what’s most important in our walks of faith. Her Gospel words: recounting Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ trick question about “the greatest commandment”.
His response wasn’t what the Pharisees expected—as in “Obey Commandment X” or “Put out fires wherever you find them.” Instead, as Pastor Joyner-Miller reminded listeners, Jesus invites us to continue loving God and each other. Good News that’s straightforward and simple to grasp, but is also rock-solid in its profundity. A way of thinking and acting that does more than shoo away the dismaying realities that may hound us. More like a spiritual insecticide for the soul?
And this morning—perhaps the Spirit’s way of repeating this life-lesson into my bothered brain—I read a recent posting from *YES! Magazine: Another wise young woman, reminding those of us who get stuck on doomsday thoughts that we must not take away from upcoming generations the necessary right of hoping.
To be singularly upfront, I have been doubly uplifted!
*You can read Morgan Florsheim’s deeply personal insights at Don’t Tell Me to Despair About the Climate: Hope Is a Right We Must Protect – YES! Magazine (yesmagazine.org) . This quarterly journal always transcends “Ain’t it awful!” thinking to report about powerfully hopeful people who inspire us by their actions.