“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In the book “Let Yourself Be Loved,” Phillip Bennett looks at the fears and wounds that keep us from a deeper relationship with God. There are some fears that we need to accept and some fears we need to change, but our wounds stay with us forever. My dog Shanny has a fear of vacuum cleaners, fireworks, and puddles. I don’t know why she is so fearful and there seems to be nothing I can do to reduce her anxiety. I accept her just as she is and I am fully aware that she will be shaking this weekend as the fireworks explode in our neighborhood. I can teach her to walk beside me or not to eat food off the dinner table, but I can do nothing about her fear of vacuum cleaners, fireworks, and puddles. Each of us has our own fears and wounds and it is through them that we are often able to help others. AA members help one another because they know how difficult a disease alcoholism is. Some of you can better serve others who receive the news that they have been diagnosed with cancer because you have been down that road yourself. Those who have lost parents can empathize with others who are trying to figure out what to do with all their property. We become what Henri Nouwen calls wounded healers. Please know that God delights in you with all your fears and wounds. God calls you to rest in the peace that passes all understanding. Take a few moments this week and give your troubles up to God in prayer.
This Covid-19 experience has been very difficult for many of us. Those who have lost jobs and those who have had to close their businesses have felt not only a financial strain, but a psychological one. Those who graduated this year have missed out on an experience that cannot be repeated. In our Nursery School, our four year olds drove up to church in a cap and gown and got to see their teachers. I do not know what this summer has in store for us, but I think most of us in Suffolk County and at St. John’s are going to make safety the number one priority.
I truly believe that we will get through this pandemic at St. John’s and we will be able to celebrate our Anniversary next year. Please support our church financially if you are able and give of yourself to others. We continue to accept food at 12 Prospect St. and we continue to accept donations for Covid-19 and social justice at our stjohnshuntington.org website. We will open slowly and safely as our parish, the task force, our wardens, our vestry, and I determine it is prudent to do so. This has taken a toll on all of us mentally and we need to help each other through this. Most importantly, please give your fears and anxieties up to God and God will give us the strength to get through this.
In Christ’s love,