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Serving Others – A Reflection

April 20, 2020
The old Birch Cabin overlooking Estes Park.

Today has been another interesting day. A day filled with Zoom meetings and worship preparation. We were able to get a walk in this afternoon which was quite pleasant. For the most part we were able to social distance without jumping off of any paths to avoid people. Avoiding people… that is an interesting concept these days.

How can we serve others when we have to avoid them? Or are there other ways to serve others. These are thoughts that I ponder as we enter week six of Virtual Worship and meetings… of sheltering-in-place… of watching the world change all around us. I do believe that we will all be changed by this experience and my prayer is that the change will be positive. Perhaps narcissism will be replaced by empathy? Perhaps we will see barriers fall down? One can definitely hope and pray that this is the case.

Right now I see a lot of hatred around this country. People who are calling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a hoax are purposefully trying to throw a wrench into the gears of positive movement towards a future without this pandemic. Politicians are politicizing this pandemic for their own selfish devices. Medicine and Science are being cast aside to allow the talking heads to spread fear, hatred, and untruths. In such an environment I see so many barriers being thrown up and so much vile and hate filled speech being spewed by people.

The one thing that this current pandemic needs is for people to put aside differences and work together towards scientifically based, common sense solutions. Am I dreamer? Perhaps I am. As John Lennon sang in his song Imagine: You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.

So how does one go about making that change in one’s own life? Thomas Merton had something to say about that in New Seeds of Contemplation. Be poor, go down into the far end of society, take the last place among [people], live with those who are despised, love other[s] and serve them instead of making them serve you. Do not fight them when they push you around, but pray for those that hurt you. (p. 143)

I firmly believe that this is the step we need to take as a people created in the image of God. Then perhaps we can live out these words of Merton’s along with these words from John Lennon: Imagine all the people living life in peace… Will you imagine along with me dear reader and be a part of that revolution of change? (Imagine by John Lennon)

  1. pynkoski2 permalink

    Yes…it is not having the right opinions, but the doing. It is the actual “go down” that becomes transformative for us and for those we go to. Compassion is born not from thinking but from being with.

    • Yes… in these days of divisiveness and the shooting rampage in Nova Scotia, it is challenging but we are called to embrace that challenge. Thank you, Paul.

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