THE SAME…BUT NOT THE SAME

I heard from an old friend this week, Zara Renander. I met Zara after Hurricane Katrina turned our lives upside down on the coast of Mississippi. Zara, along with the Reverend Kerry Holder-Joffrion, are experts in teaching the use of labyrinths for meditation, prayer, mental health, support and a myriad of other wonderful things. A year or so after the storm, we invited Zara and Kerry to do a weekend workshop at Coast Episcopal School and St. Patrick’s (we were meeting in the gym at Coast Episcopal then). We built a simple labyrinth with the help of the school kids on the grounds of the school, and setup another temporary one in the gym where St. Patrick’s held worship services. We invited mental health workers and school teachers from all over the coast of Mississippi and they came in large numbers to see if using a labyrinth could help with their clients and students. It was a huge success. So much so that when we built (finally) the new St. Patrick’s, we included an outdoor labyrinth on the grounds.

Zara and Kerry are amazing spiritual guides that helped me tremendously during this challenging time. This week Zara was wanting to write on her blog about the current crisis and reached out to me to see if she could use a letter I wrote at the 10th anniversary of Katrina. I was flattered and of course said yes. Here is her entire post: http://turningpointgroup.org/talking-feather-time-in-the-nick-of-time/

The part she quoted from me is this:

This is an excerpt from David’s letter and reflections on that disastrous time:

“Do I talk about the woman who almost died in her home, water to her neck, neither she nor her daughter could swim, how a neighbor rescued them out of a window and lashed them inside a boat tied to a tree, where they watched it all play out, tornadoes and wind and water and prayed the tree held, watched her home and car wash away, knowing her story was just one story of so many JUST LIKE THAT. Do I talk about the friend in Hattiesburg who is a Chevy dealer who loaned me a pickup truck that I would fill up with supplies and drive around to all the tent “villages”, especially in the Bay, and hand out what I had and money if I had it too, and then go back for more supplies and do it all over again. What a gift that truck proved to be, just in the nick of time. So much came to us just in the nick of time, over and over again God provided, in the triple digit heat and the dust and the great despair, God kept showing up, looking different every time, but present and there always. Always.”

This crisis is the same and very different. None of us know how this pandemic crisis will end. There will be pain and suffering and deep sadness. There will be miracle workers and angels we are unaware of. There will be suffering and pain and there will be glimmers of hope. As I preached last week, hope does not disappoint! Those are St. Paul’s words, not mine. May we never lose hope, for hope, the only hope that matters, is hope in God who loves us and is with us, at the nick of time and over time. This will be so hard. We have a while to go. But our sacred story speaks of a God who shows up, loves us when we are unlovable, and truly wants us to put our hope, our trust, our faith in Him. In the nick of time. And all the time.

My prayers are with you all. This blog will be much more active for a while, some of the posts will be video based. I welcome you sharing with anyone you think may like to read/hear my thoughts, reactions, and prayers. God bless! In the nick of time. And all the time.

Fr. David+

8 thoughts on “THE SAME…BUT NOT THE SAME”

  1. I cannot imagine what you and Jennifer are going through—having to face yet another life threatening crisis while providing care and support for all of us and so many others. Thank you for the gift of your words and faith.

  2. Thank you, Fr. David. I appreciate your blogs and am nourished by them. Blessings to you and Jennifer. Barbara Backer

  3. For your words of appreciation, deep thanks. It was our honor to come to St. Patrick’s to work with your community. You have been an inspiration to us and in this hard time, we send you all prayers and many blessings. Zara

  4. Thank you David , for your deep caring and love for all of Gods people, each and everyone He puts in your path and for springing into action wherever He sends you . I think of you not only as “ itinerant preacher” but also “First responder for God “ we are lifting you and Jennifer up in prayer

  5. You are truly an instrument of God’s love & peace. Thank you for helping Him to spread the spiritual food that feeds our hearts & souls. SHALOM

  6. Thank you, Fr David, for that reminder. I always enjoy reading your thoughtful posts. Stay well.

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