This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, September 18, 2020
This week was the long-awaited return to school, for our household. Living as we do (for now, anyway J) in one of the GTA boards that delayed September’s re-launch, we were all but hovering over this past Monday, for some sense of weekday normal. With secondary school restrictions and cohort-life fully underway, our Abbey didn’t even enter the building until Thursday morning, but the start of a new school year still felt an important arrival.
Like plenty of parents, my emotions in all of this have been very mixed, and tears often close to the surface. I didn’t realize how much that was true until early Monday morning, as I drove by a neighbourhood bus stop. I caught sight of a very petite child, presumably only in the earliest years of school, standing in a shiny new dress, with a hairband, and facemask to match. Suddenly the weight of this present life came over me in waves. Tears started to roll, as I longed for a time when school day starts didn’t look like this. I have no idea what that precious child or parent were feeling, but I know the weekday release now requires a new level of bravery; of deepest trust, and communal, mutual accountability. All of that just seemed too much for my heart to bear in that moment. I wanted desperately to retrieve the September mornings my children knew at that age. I wanted desperately to make all of this – whatever we will come to call this – go away.
Into that private, silent space of lament, God spoke quite clearly to my heart. I didn’t feel chided for my complaints, but I felt called to think more on the posture of that same child. She stood tall, tall as she could, looking straight ahead. She stood where she was called to be in that moment, and who knows what was racing through her mind, but her very presence said she was ready to move in to what is next; in to what is right and possible for her and her family.
For all that I resist, resent, and long to reclaim, I rejoice that I am surrounded by such good, good people in this life: by little children at a bus stop, whom I may never see again; by strong women and men of this faith family who make hard choices but forever move forward in hope; by denominational and societal leaders who press us to hold fast in such unknown times. With the magnificence akin to God’s created world, living beings speak truth in bold and patient action. Season into season, for as long as it takes us to arrive, we are carried in to new spaces and new, more Christ-like ways of being. I have tears of gratitude for that.
With love to you all,
“These embered prayers reflect the darkened cheeks of God’s wisdom,
words recalled, psalms or prophecies, stones weeping, forests heard.
There is a choice for each story. Choose listening.
God speaks.” (Wendy MacLean, “Taking Earth Literally”, Gathering)