Community in Action

I will be glad when we this Shelter in Place is over, but I am again learning new lessons or old lessons in a new view. Though we, or at least I, no longer meet new people in the old ways, just as new folks coming to church or new neighbors moving in or even new folks at public locations, I am meeting people I have never met before.

    When I used to frequent the gym I would meet people I hadn’t met before as we took turns using the equipment and we would strike up a brief conversation. Or when I would officiate a soccer game I would meet referees I had rarely seen and we would chat about our lives. Those times when I would attend a concert or an athletic event or some lengthy public event I would at some point strike up a conversation with the people around me.

    Now that is not an option, but I have found a new way to connect with strangers or I should say people with whom I am not friends yet. It is on our morning walk.

    We, Joan and I walk the same route almost every morning and on that route we see a lot of the same people. There are no lengthy conversations, but the quick wave or the curt hello has now turned into a welcoming phrase. I feel like I am meeting people I would have never met before if we weren’t out on the trail.

    There is the jogger who turns around at the Enterprise Car Rental. There is the man with white ear buds who is always going north when we are going south and remarks on whether he has seen the humungous fish we all saw once in the canal. There is the cyclist who smiles broadly as we pass each other and the one who with his baseball cap and backpack now says “Good Morning” instead of just nodding.

    We are developing a new community of friends. Though these people are at this point merely acquaintances I am hoping in the near future when we recognize each other in a store or a public place perhaps we can chat a little bit. I wonder where do they start on their route, who do they live with, and what circumstances are they living in?

    Are they long time residents or are they just passing through? Are they living their dream or are they just getting by? Do they have a support network or do they have a church family? Is life a drudgery or is life a celebration?

    I haven’t started praying for them yet, but maybe that is the next step. Some seem so pensive and others so carefree. Some limp along and others prance. Some are so intense and others are so relaxed. I hope that someday we can chat along the same path, in the same direction, and share our hopes and dreams and joys.

    There are so many people, who have so many stories, I hope I can learn from them and they can learn from me, for we are all in this together. If you haven’t taken any time to write about the things you are experiencing during this pandemic I urge you to take that time.

    You can write about your disappointments as well as your happy surprises. We are in a special time that has never happened before. This is a time when we can someday share with future generations and hopefully we will have some good lessons to share.

    Also if there is something you are willing to share with the rest of the JKPC family please note that we are interested in publishing some of your thoughts for our 2020 Advent Devotional. You may have a lesson of hope or joy or peace that you would like to share with the JKPC family, or share anonymously if you wish. Just send one of your special insights to suehfox@gmail.com. Sue Fox will compile these for our devotional this next Christmas season and we will all have an opportunity to learn from each other. And maybe later on we will have some new friends we can introduce to each other at church as well.


    Pastor Randy

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