But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. — Isaiah 43: 1-3
Mostly, I’m doing well.
Getting through meetings, 16 online this week. Zoom!
Writing on deadline. Solid B-
Sleeping. Needs Work.
Eating nutritiously, A – the ice cream
Remembering important shit. B or so.
Listening for God. A +++
But sometimes. Sometimes. Like tonight. When I reflect on a week where a heroic beloved woman succumbed to Leukemia, after 8 rounds of chemo. Eight. And we can’t have more than her family at a graveside service…until we can have a memorial… eventually. And another young woman I love got tested. And is living through symptoms we know and waiting for results next week. And a beloved colleague with 4 children finds out she has Stage 4 Colon Cancer and starts chemo this week. And I’m forcing myself to stop the list here.
It feels like the entirety of my rib-cage is being squeezed and I must stand up and remind myself to breathe.
And when I do? I remember this.
I know. I KNOW. I KNOW YOU. My readers for ten years now. Some from every community I have served in the last ten years. My friends. My family. My colleagues. My crushes. My children. My community in Christ.
I KNOW that whatever we need to do, we will do, because the other part of we is you. And I know that if 5 million homemade face masks are needed, you will sew them. I know that if we need to start producing more ventilators, teaching apprentices on the job in makeshift assembly lines in closed auto plants you will be working on them around the clock, in staggered shifts, with the passion of the Saints.
I KNOW that you will…that you are…feeding as many children as you possibly can, many from a distance that breaks your heart. I know that you are teaching yourself how to live in a drastically upended routine, not touching your face, using food efficiently so nothing goes bad. Trying to model calm in an anxious body.
I know that you are giving your money to help more people and agencies than ever before. That you are calling and texting and mailing everyone you love and many you simply know. I know that you are waving to even the Amazon driver as if she was your long-lost cousin.
I know who you are. Faithful, wise, hard-working, resourceful people whose misson is to love one another. Every Single One.
It is not difficult at all to imagine God saying these words of assurance through the prophet Isaiah. To you. Or to me.
Because I know we will do what we must, because we already are. More and more and more everyday.
The fire will not burn us.
The water will not overwhelm us.
We have been called by name by a God who loves us fiercely yet in this endless storm continues to whisper, I am with you. You are mine.