These past weeks so much of the news has been frightening. News story follows news story of how the novel corona virus is ravaging our nation – our entire world. And frankly the news has all been so heartbreaking. So much loss. So very – very much loss. So many precious human lives have ended far too soon. Leaving behind grief – sorrow – heartache – and so much pain for so many people.
Lost jobs – lay-offs and furloughs. And the grief and uncertainty that come with unemployment. The unemployment numbers are just plain staggering and keep getting worse and worse with each passing week . . .
Lost months of education for our beloved children and their teachers. Cancelled graduations and celebrations. No cheery balloons and huge cakes this spring. No noisy celebrations. No cars lining the streets of the neighborhood to celebrate the newest grad.
Missing our friends and our family. Missing our sisters and brothers in Christ. Maybe you are even missing your co-workers! (Could you even be missing church council meetings? I know that I am.)
Missing those casual conversations we used to have all of the time and we took them so lightly. Missing hugs and handshakes and pats on the back! To think that we used to talk to strangers and to touch unsanitized grocery carts!
It literally can take your breath away to think about how much we have lost as a nation – as a world.
And then there are the news stories that I really and truly dread. The news stories that make me groan and despair for humanity. The stories of people fighting over TP in the aisle of the local super store. The story of the lady stockpiling hand sanitizer and medical grade masks in her basement. The stories about doctors hoarding medicines that might just be helpful in combating COVID-19 for themselves and their precious loved ones.
When I hear these stories I sigh, and I ache about our brokenness as human beings. My heart breaks. I express my weariness about these sorts of things. And then – Jason always – always reminds me about Jesus.
“Kerri” – Jason says – “if we human beings were not such a broken – messed up – sinful disaster – we would never have needed a Savior in the first place . . . We all need Jesus. . . All of us . . .”
And so you see – sometimes – the pastor’s husband can deliver a pretty rocking good sermon at the McFarland house (and Jason’s sermons tend to be much – much shorter than mine are)!
And so after hearing one of Jason’s sermons this weekend I decided to spend some extra time looking for Good News this week. I thought that I might not be able to come up with a very good list because we aren’t out in the world nearly as much as we used to be. But – nope the Good News has been flowing . . . and here is what I have discovered so far:
– Someone mulched the flower beds at the church. They look absolutely, positively gorgeous. Thank you to whoever did this for us!
– Whenever we walk and hike more folks share friendly greetings than they used to. Jason and I have been hiking and walking together since we were 15 years old. We have a lot of history in this department. People are just plain friendlier these days.
– I hear people telling the grocery store employees thank you. And I see them treating them with kindness and respect. This is a huge change. I hope we never revert back to our old ways!
– The lawn cutting service for the church told us if money was a problem that we could pay them when things got better (thankfully we are doing okay).
– The loving cards – notes – and texts that our family received after Jason’s Aunt Jannie died were such a comfort and a blessing.
– The offerings for our Lord’s Work and Saint Stephen that come in the mail almost every single day.
– A cheery cloth mask made with love to keep me safe when I must venture out into the world (Jason wears it too). We so appreciate this gift of love and kindness. I feel blessed every single time one of us has to wear it (even though I really wish it weren’t necessary).
– I have been so dazzled by the way Will’s 1st grade teacher Mrs. Meers continues to teach with such love, grace, and passion under such trying circumstances. I am really enjoying going to 1st again and so is Jason!
– A message on the church answering machine just to say hi and to send some love to the pastor. Wow – that made my day!
– Matt is mowing the front lawn at the church every other week to help us save money. Thank you so very – very much!
– Jack has recorded every single one of my sermons. I don’t even know how to turn on the video camera . . .
– Lutherans calling Lutherans to check in on them and to make sure that they are making it through these tough times okay.
– Lutherans emailing – texting – and calling their pastor to make sure that she is okay . . . thank you. I miss you all so much. Like I said I am even missing church council meetings!
– A sweet hug from my littlest guy and a snuggle on the couch after a long day of work, learning, and jumping on the trampoline.
– My flower beds filling up with spring flowers.
I am seeing and experiencing Good News all around me. Even in these incredibly difficult times I am seeing and experiencing Good News. I just needed to open my eyes and my heart. I needed to pay attention! I needed to be willing to see and experience it, because Good News really and truly is all around me.
I know these are hard days. I acknowledge and honor that – but there is some good in here too. I give thanks for that.
Where are you seeing and experiencing Good News these days? How is God making himself known in your life these days?
In Christ and with Love –