The monthly newsletter of our first church, in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts, listed in its program for the week “Sunday 10 AM: No Church until further notice.” Ouch! I feel we’ve had no church for the last 8 or 9 weeks, because of our inept aptitude, when it comes to high technology.
I miss church – the live sermons from my minister whom I love. And the surrounding people whom I also love. And their faces. And their greetings. And the memories they stir up.
But, the President, and the governor say we must distance ourselves for everyone’s safety. And so we do.
It does feel like “lock down.” Everything slowed down. Not the freedom to be out and about.
I’m grateful to have some things I can do: write letters, emails, blogs - and little notes. I can put “LOVE” on paper, so my friends and family can read, and re-read.
I walk a bit, and need to do much more. Even “row my boat” – [a rowing machine at Lifetime].
Even while my heart longs for the lake (only 1700 miles away!) But Molly keeps me close to reality. “I need to have a summer wardrobe,” and suddenly she produces moccasins. I think it will all work.
And I read. Most recently “The River of Doubt” (Theodore Roosevelt’s darkest journey), on which he came close to death. But also came close to the men of his expedition into Brazil’s daunting and dangerous rain forest.
Roosevelt, of course, had been the leader of “The Rough Riders.” He had been a cowboy in the Dakotas. He had big teeth, a hearty smile, a barrel chest, a thirst for adventure. He was a raconteur, and told stories around the campfire in the jungle. The men loved him. And when he died, five years after returning from the River of Doubt, they wept.
He had lost fifty pounds from terrible infections, and open, primitive surgery by the expedition’s doctor, on the forest’s floor, and was a “mere shadow of his former self.”
He had given it all, and died at age 60.
Hard to read. Tears came to me too, when, in the Epilogue, the news of his death was received.
So goes life. Even heroes are overtaken. And great men find they cannot make things work out for their children, their dreams, or their own life.
Which, of course, cries out to us: “What of God?” And that is surely the answer, for each of us. We cannot make the journey without the great leader from Nazareth. The listener. The lover. The healer. The Friend, forever.
So, in pandemic days, and protect days, of so much gone awry, I remember that we have Jesus, Who loves us, and will meet us when our time is over, and takes us home, to Heaven – our great, forever “HOME.” Yay!
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES