From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 5th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I think I need to be brutally honest here.  I am not having a good week.  For those of you who haven’t been following the saga that is my life now, my dad isn’t doing well.  He had a pretty major stroke about 2 and half weeks ago, and it has been a roller coaster of good news then bad news then good news then bad news and so forth.  It seemed like every time we talked to someone different, there was another thing my dad was going through, or another thing we had to deal with, or another hard decision we had to make.  It felt unending and to be frank (which actually is my dad’s name), I’m constantly surprised when I look at the calendar and realise that only 2 weeks have passed since all this started.

Well, there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that it looks like all of this might be over soon.  The bad news is it’ll end in exactly the way you think it’ll end.

I’ve said in the past that I am at peace with it, and that wasn’t a lie, I am.  But still, the whole thing kind of sucks (actually no, not “kind of,” it totally sucks).  As any of you that have lost a parent or loved one would know, the range of emotions weighing on your mind is heavy and all you really want is some sort of release from it all.  This is where some may turn to their family and friends for support.  Some turn to isolation or seclusion.  Other may turn to substances like alcohol or worse.  People will choose to deal as they need to, as that burden is really heavy.  All we would want in a situation such as this is a break from carrying that baggage, just to be able to set it down so we can rest.  Either that or grow stronger so it doesn’t seem so heavy anymore.  Like I said, we all deal in our own way.

I choose to read scripture, and see what God’s Word has in store for me.

The readings for next week are:
Zechariah 9:9-12
Psalm 145:8-14
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

There it is, right there.  Jesus promises us that that his burden is easy and his yoke is light.  I don’t think that Jesus is saying that in him, all our problems somehow go away, but I think he is saying that there is an end to suffering and pain, that there is a metaphorical light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel.  And I think Jesus (in the light of the other passages) is also saying that there will always be a bad and good side to life, and many times it will seem very much weighed to one extreme.  But God’s promise of peace and hope are still true in the midst of it all.   God’s healing will take place, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual.  God’s burden is easy and God’s yoke is light, because God is a strong tower of refuge welcoming us into safety.

Now, I get that all these churchy words might not provide any comfort for those who are going through something right now.  I know a lot of times quoting scripture or pointing to God’s promises aren’t exactly a great help in the tough times.  I know that finding comfort is one of those “easier said than done” things, especially when in the thick of pain, suffering, and loss.

But I believe that even in our doubts, we can have hope.  Even when we feel we are at the ends of our ropes, we can remember that there is someone on the other side of that rope wanting to pull us up.  Even when we might rather just wallow in our emotions, we will eventually be strengthened, be healed, and brought into peace.

I am still sad about what is happening in my life.  And I’m pretty sure I will feel this way for a while.  But I also know that there will be restoration, there will be moments when I remember, reflect on, and appreciate all that my dad means to me and has done for me, there will be peace found in my family, in our community, and in the love that we share and continue to share with my dad.

God’s peace be with you all.

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