Be gentle to one another in the fog

Built on a Rock

Kristen Kuempel once wrote a devotional where she began like this: “So here I sit, feeling a great deal of responsibility to you, dear reader, to provide some sort of clarity around the concept of loving yourself. The mug sitting beside me has held hot coffee that turned into cold coffee, and hot tea that turned into iced tea. Still, I have no pearls of wisdom.”

That is where I am today as I begin this article. I am pondering what sort of clarity I might present for you about “something.”

How do we speak of clarity when so much around us is unclear and foggy at best?

To get to my interim congregation in Hills, I drive by Holland. I did so recently on a morning that was foggy. It wasn’t so foggy that I couldn’t see the highway. It was thick enough that I could not see even one of the large wind turbine towers that I knew were stationed on the horizon.

At night the red lights atop those towers would have stood out. But in the morning fog, I noted no shadows, shapes or colors. It was confusing for me. The horizon was no longer a tool for helping me know where I was on my commute.

Perhaps something similar is happening in the region. Area public schools have opened but far differently than previous Augusts and Septembers. I am still trying to wrap my mind around Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota schools doing so with different criteria. Some area youth can compete in athletic endeavors while other youth don’t presently have those opportunities.

The fog may lift with time, but we are not there today. Medical personnel in area hospitals, clinics and care centers are doing their best to provide health care for people young and old. Small business owners are stretched in ways they never anticipated being challenged.

More could be said, but my point is that the fog is thick and it’s tiring out lots of folks as they adapt their daily routines. Perhaps turning to a gem of scripture will provide the clarity I long for.

“Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:12-13

I am not going to predict when expected healing will be experienced nor when the fog associated with Covid will lift.

But I will ask the folk of the region reading this devotional to be gentle with one another this autumn. Lots of people are weary on many levels. Together, we acknowledge this. Together, we pray for strength to do hard things in community and with the help of God. This God knows where the horizon is even when we aren’t so sure.

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