June 13, 2021
“Here is What We Have Learned”
by Rev. Douglas Taylor
So much has changed in our lives over this year. We have been caught up in the global storm known as COVID-19. So much of what we took for granted or thought of as normal and regular, so much has been impossible, unsafe, even deadly.
Today, as a congregation, we honor passages in our lives: births, deaths, joining, crossing, and becoming. We may consider the ways the pandemic can also be seen as a passage. We are travelling this path from the way things were through into the way things may yet become. Every passage offers lessons to those involved.
While we have turned ourselves inside out to survive as best we could in this pandemic, we have learned some things about ourselves, about each other, about our world. We have learned some things about our values and our what matters to us, about what does and does not matter to others.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned over this this past year:
We are both fragile and resilient.
We have learned it can hard to keep moving when we are disoriented. It helps to slow down; it has been necessary to slow down.
We’ve learned it becomes easier for lies to spread when we are anxious and uncertain.
We’ve learned that 3.8 million is a large number – too large for most people to really take in. 3.8 million: that’s how many people have died from this pandemic since the beginning of 2020. 600,000 is also a big number. That’s the deaths just in the United States just from this one illness.
This has been hard. Harder that we imagined it would be.
But here is what else we’ve learned: while fear is still present, we are learning to rebuild our resilience.
We have learned that we can do online church; that we can protest injustice effectively even during a pandemic; that a lot of work can happen from home or anywhere – not all of it, but a lot more than we used to imagine; that medical innovation is possible with the right motivation and a reduction in capitalism’s restrictions.
We’ve learned that being with others helps. It is hard to be so vulnerable and powerless. Loneliness can be harmful.
Our big lesion has been that we need connection, that we are all more connected than we usually recognize. That need for connection has been what transmits the illness and also what has been a healing balm. Our connections matter. Our strength comes from being in community.
Our world is changing, and all shall be well. We will get through this, and all shall be well. We will get through this the way we have gotten through other difficulties in the past – together, and all manner of thing shall be well.