"Getting Parsonal" - August 2020
Sitting on the glider bench in the parsonage back yard, my cup of coffee growing inevitably cooler on the armrest beside me, I listen to the sounds of the early morning. There is far less traffic this time of day, though it remains a persistent presence – the reality of living on a busy intersection in the heart of town. Blissfully, the drivers who blare loud, pounding music, or drive a car sporting annoyingly enhanced exhaust systems, seem not to be as much of an early riser as am I.
The dark blue sky has been lightening for some time now. The sun has just begun to broach the horizon. Other than an occasional bright spot poking through the urban forest between me and the eastern sky, all I can see of it are the golden beams it casts on the outermost leaves of the giant tree in my neighbor’s yard, across Tremont. At first the light reminds me of Moses and the burning bush, the edges of the tree seemingly ablaze in peach, orange and yellow hues. It burns but is not consumed. Then the vision changes, and the sight reminds me of Jesus’ empty tomb, with the angel waiting there to mee the women, early on the first day of the week. The light emanates so brightly from behind the angel that its face is obscured as it says, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!”
I notice movement down Tremont. It is the neighborhood turkey (of the wild feathered variety – not the annoying, domestic, human variety). Originally, I referred to him as “Tom,” but some children in the church dubbed him “Sir Gobbles,” and the name has stuck. He’s taking his time, slowly, calmly walking down the middle of the street at his undignified, head-bobbing, turkey gait, followed closely behind by a large, cobalt blue pickup truck. The driver does not look amused. Eventually reaching Pleasant Street, the turkey ignores the stop sign and steps out to the right, headed right across the middle of the road toward the canon on Wardwell Square. The driver turns left.
As I head inside, I remind myself to savor these summer days. The heat will not be with us long, though in the coming weeks, it may seem long. That insight feels like a bit of a metaphor for the pandemic as well. It has been long and painful, and it is far from over. But it will come to an end. It may take a long time, and we won’t get there together unless we all do are part, all are diligent, all are dedicated to our own safety and the safety of others. But by God’s grace, and thanks to the efforts of scientists and health care providers in our community and world-wide, we will bring this global pandemic under control. And when we do, the whole world will shout for joy! And breathe a deep sigh of relief. And as we do each and every day, in all circumstances, we will offer God our heartfelt praise.