Many of us have sat and waited in hospital settings while a family member undergoes medical procedures. Those procedures can range from hours of surgery in the middle of the night to sliding a tiny tube through the circulation system until it reaches the heart to take a peek inside. The procedures can go on for weeks and months such as chemo or radiation. Or, they may be relatively quick like MRIs. What we discover is that waiting drains more energy than a regular day at work. Not knowing, uncertainty, change of routine, not having control of outcomes, and the possibility of things going wrong can take their toll on us emotionally and physically.
While I type these words, many of us know people who are in the midst of going through such uncertainty in medical settings. And, all of us are going through not knowing, uncertainty, change of routine, not having control of the outcomes and the possibility of things going very wrong on a national level. For most of us, that wears on us. It drains our emotional reserves. It numbs us to the beauty that is also part of each day. It leaves us with a feeling of being helpless as the world is in chaos.
The picture above of Thomas Merton and his words is a reminder that there are still critically important choices we can make each day–for the sake of our souls and the benefit of those nearest to us. “Speak words of hope. Be human in this most inhuman of ages. Guard the image of (the best in humanity) for it is the image of God.” This Sunday we will glimpse a moment in time when Jesus meets Nathanael. “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said, ‘here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.’ Nathanael asks, ‘How do you know me?” Jesus says, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.'” (John 1:47) Only Jesus and Nathanael know the particulars of what Jesus saw. What we know from reading it, however, is that Jesus notices integrity–and it matters greatly to him. These days, these tiring, chaotic, unsettling days, integrity still matters to Jesus.
Being our best selves still matters. Speaking hope, sharing kindness, living honestly, blessing others, still matters. In fact, it matters more than ever now. We can choose those things. We can choose to be about the basics–loving God and loving neighbor. The living Christ will notice and be grateful–because it keeps his mission alive in this world–especially in fractured times. Take comfort in the fact your faithful actions matter and God is still at work through every loving act.
Be Well and Be Blessing,